Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Abramoff Gets Almost 6 Years in Prison

Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff walks outside Miami's courthouse in Miami March 29, 2006. Abramoff, a disgraced lobbyist at the heart of a Washington influence-peddling scandal that has rattled top Republicans, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Wednesday for fraud in the purchase of a Florida casino cruise line. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Folks, we just might have the Season Finale here for The Jack Abramoff Show! This is off Yahoo News:

MIAMI - Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison in a Florida fraud case, the minimum sentence allowed.

Abramoff and former partner Adam Kidan pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud stemming from the ill-fated purchase in 2000 of the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet.

The sentence won't start immediately so the pair can continue cooperating in a Washington corruption investigation and a Florida probe into the murder of former SunCruz owner Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis.

In the Florida case, Abramoff and Kidan admitted concocting a fake $23 million wire transfer to make it appear they had made a large cash contribution to the $147.5 million purchase of SunCruz Casinos. Based on that fake transfer, lenders provided the pair with $60 million in financing.

A courtroom sketch shows Jack Abramoff, center, standing before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck, far left, at the federal justice building in Miami where he plead quilty to two of six counts of wire fraud and mail fraud stemming from the 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos, Jan. 4, 2006. AP FILE PHOTO/Jeanne Boggs

Six years--and this is just for the conspiracy and wire fraud charges regarding the SunCruz Casinos scandal. We haven't even gotten into the federal charges regarding the corruption probe investigating congressional Republicans. Consider this:

The same week Abramoff pleaded guilty to the SunCruz fraud, he entered guilty pleas to three federal charges as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe that could involve up to 20 members of Congress and aides, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. No date has been set for his sentencing in that case.

We'll just now have to see what happens when the federal prosecutors start handing down indictments against the congressional Republicans.

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