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07-26-11, 04:49 PM #1
Activist faces up to 10 years in prison for submitting false lease bids to derail drilling on public land near national parksWhat's fair punishment for an environmentalist who submitted phony lease bids in order to derail oil and gas drilling on public land near national parks? A judge will decide Tuesday and has the option of going as far as 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.
Tim DeChristopher, 29, was found guilty last March after a four-day trial in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He admitted to posing as an energy developer in December 2008 for a U.S. government "lease sale" auction in which he ended up offering the winning bids for 22,500 acres of federal land in Utah.
It was soon discovered he had neither the money nor the intention to consummate the purchase, effectively scuttling about a fourth of the lease sales up for bid that day.
DeChristopher, who later tried to raise money to pay for the leases, has said he was protesting what he and other environmentalists regard as a virtual government giveaway of public land.
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