[JURIST] Lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday began serving his six-year prison sentence on fraud and conspiracy charges. Abramoff will serve his sentence at a minimum-security facility in Cumberland, MD, a location close to the Washington, DC prosecutors who are using Abramoff's testimony to bring a corruption case against members of Congress and others. Abramoff was sentenced to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty [JURIST reports] to fraud and corruption charges stemming from a 2000 casino purchase. Prosecutors had moved to delay Abramoff's sentence pending his assistance with the corruption probe, but a Miami judge in March refused to delay Abramoff's sentencing [JURIST report] for longer than two weeks.
Others involved in the Abramoff scandal include former Rep. Bob Ney, who pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in October to charges of conspiracy and making false statements after accepting money and gifts from Abramoff [JURIST report], and Former White House official David Safavian [Wikipedia profile], who was sentenced to eighteen months after his conviction for lying and obstructing justice [JURIST reports]. Abramoff is also awaiting sentencing on separate corruption charges.
In response to the Abramoff and other lobbying scandals, the US House of Representatives passed a lobbying reform bill in May, and in September, adopted a new ethics rule [JURIST reports] requiring lawmakers to disclose their sponsorship of so-called "earmarks" inserted into bills to fund special spending projects. AP has more.