By Associated Press Writer
updated 6/8/2009 11:45:26 PM ET 2009-06-09T03:45:26

A former congressional staffer was indicted Friday on corruption charges for taking a free trip to the 2003 World Series.

In the latest case to arise out of the scandal surrounding ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, prosecutors charged Fraser Verrusio, 39, who worked under Republican Rep. Don Young when the Alaska congressman chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Officials say Verrusio and another Capitol Hill staffer accepted an illegal gratuity when lobbyists gave them an all-expense paid trip to New York, including the World Series game and a visit to a strip club.

The lavish trip to the series game between the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium has already helped prosecutors win corruption-related guilty pleas from three people: Trevor Blackann, a former aide to two Missouri Republicans; James Hirni, a former Abramoff lobbying associate, and Todd Boulanger, another former Abramoff deputy.

Boulanger and Hirni helped provide the World Series trip. Blackann and Verrusio were the recipients and were also treated to a chauffeured SUV and dinner at an expensive steakhouse, court papers say.

The indictment charges Verrusio helped the lobbyists get favorable language for an equipment rental company into a federal highway bill.

A lawyer who had previously represented Verrusio said he no longer did, and his current lawyer could not immediately be determined.

Abramoff is in prison and has cooperated with the Justice Department to help convict more than a dozen people, including former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

Mark Zachares, also a former Young aide, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in April 2007. Zachares acknowledged accepting gifts and a golf trip to Scotland from Abramoff's team in exchange for official acts for them.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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