Abramoff pleads guilty to fraud, conspiracy charges

[JURIST] As anticipated [JURIST report], former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff on Wednesday [JURIST news archive] pleaded guilty [DOJ press release] in federal court in Florida to two conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from the 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casino [corporate website] by Abramoff and partners. Abramoff initially pleaded guilty [JURIST report; DOJ press release] to the charges in August, but after the DOJ investigation revealed more connections [JURIST report] between Abramoff and public officials than anticipated, he negotiated a plea agreement [PDF text] with federal prosecutors that would reduce his punishment in exchange for favorable testimony in future DOJ corruption cases. His plea bargain calls for a maximum seven-year sentence, to be reduced depending on the quality of information he produces regarding his dealings with members of Congress, and would run concurrently with the sentence he receives in connection with Tuesday's guilty plea [JURIST report] on separate charges. The DOJ is reportedly investigating Abramoff's ties with former house majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive], Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) [official website], Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) [official website], Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) [official website], 17 current and former congressional aides, and two former Bush administration officials in the Interior Department and government procurement office. AP has more.

 

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