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DOJ seeks lighter sentences for ex-lobbyist Abramoff

[JURIST] The US Justice Department (DOJ) [official website] has asked federal judges in Florida and Washington, DC, to give lenient sentences to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive], who has cooperated in the prosecution of several legislative and executive branch officials. Since 2006, Abramoff has been serving a six-year prison term [JURIST report] on fraud and conspiracy charges filed in Florida; next week, he is scheduled to be sentenced in Washington to as much as 11 years for tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy. The DOJ recommended Wednesday that the Florida sentence be reduced to four years and that the Washington court impose a sentence of five years. If the judges follow those recommendations, Abramoff would be released in late 2011. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4 in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website]. AP has more. Politico has additional coverage. The Washington Post has local coverage.

The DOJ said Abramoff's cooperation has helped secure the convictions of several former executive and legislative officials, including Robert Coughlin II, deputy chief of staff in the DOJ Criminal Division; Deputy US Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles; US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH); David Safavian, former chief of staff of the US General Services Administration [JURIST reports]; and Tony Rudy, deputy chief of staff and press secretary to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Money-laundering and conspiracy charges [indictment text] against DeLay remain pending. Last week, a Texas appellate court allowed money-laundering indictments to stand [JURIST report] against two alleged co-conspirators of DeLay.

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