[JURIST] Federal prosecutors on Monday accused the former deputy chief of staff of the Department of Justice Criminal Division [official website] of criminal conflict of interest charges connected to his relationship with disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive]. Robert Coughlin is accused of accepting gifts from Abramoff's lobbying group, as well as discussing future employment at the firm where Abramoff worked. In April 2007, the Washington Post reported that Coughlin accepted tickets to sporting events paid for by Abramoff's lobbying firm. AP has more.
Abramoff pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in January 2006 to two conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from the 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casino [corporate website] as part of a plea agreement [PDF text] with federal prosecutors that would reduce his punishment in exchange for favorable testimony in future DOJ corruption cases.