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  1. #1
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    Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    WASHINGTON - Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud, clearing the way for him to cooperate in a massive government investigation of influence peddling involving members of Congress.

    He faces 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

    The filing against Abramoff outlined lavish gifts and contributions that it said Abramoff gave an unnamed House member, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, in return for Ney's agreement to use his office to aid Abramoff clients.

    Ney's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, said Tuesday that the charges against Abramoff were "nothing new." He said they repeated information in the November plea agreement from Abramoff's lobbying partner, Michael Scanlon.

    To each of the three charges, Abramoff said, "I plead guilty, your honor."

    U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle and lawyers in the case referred to restitution possibly reaching $25 million in the case.

    Abramoff agreed with the judge when she said that he had engaged in a conspiracy involving "corruption of public officials." The lobbyist also agreed when she said he and others had engaged in a scheme to provide campaign contributions, trips and other items "in exchange for certain official acts."

    Abramoff also was to plead guilty to two criminal charges in Florida stemming from a 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats, said Neal Sonnett, his attorney there.

    A change of plea hearing has been scheduled in the Miami case for Wednesday, Justice officials said.

    Any plea agreement likely would secure the Republican lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients. The Justice Department is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 lawmakers and aides.

    Abramoff's travels with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay are already under criminal investigation. The lobbyist's interactions with the Texas Republican's congressional office frequently came around the time of campaign donations, golf outings or other trips provided or arranged by Abramoff for DeLay and other lawmakers. In all, DeLay received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.


    The new charges were contained in a criminal information - a filing made by a federal prosecutor with a defendant's permission that bypasses action by a grand jury.

    Prosecutors say Abramoff and Scanlon conspired to defraud Indian tribes in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas of millions of dollars. Abramoff reaped roughly $20 million in hidden profits from the scheme, according to the information. Scanlon pleaded guilty in November.

    Abramoff and Scanlon also lavished a golf trip to Scotland and other things of value on Ney, the court document said. Ney has denied doing anything wrong.

    It also said Abramoff solicited $50,000 from a wireless telephone company and got Ney's agreement to push the company's application to install a wireless telephone infrastructure in the House of Representatives, a job Ney's committee would oversee.

    Pressure had been intensifying on Abramoff to strike a deal with prosecutors since another former partner, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty earlier this month to fraud and conspiracy in connection with the 2000 SunCruz boat deal in Florida.

    Abramoff's cooperation would be a boon to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of congressional corruption, possibly helping prosecutors build criminal cases against up to two-dozen lawmakers of both parties and their staff members.

    The continuing saga of Abramoff's legal problems has caused anxiety at high levels in Washington, in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan could not say Tuesday whether Abramoff ever met President Bush. But when asked at the White House about this, the spokesman said that "what he is reportedly acknowledged doing is unacceptable and outrageous."

    "If laws were broken, he must be held to account for what he did," McClellan said.

    For months, prosecutors in Washington have focused on whether Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribal clients of millions of dollars and used improper influence on members of Congress.

    In a five-year span ending in early 2004, tribes represented by the lobbyist contributed millions of dollars in casino income to congressional campaigns, often routing the money through political action committees for conservative lawmakers who opposed gambling.

    Abramoff also provided trips, sports skybox fundraisers, golf fees, frequent meals, entertainment and jobs for lawmakers' relatives and aides.

    In Florida, Abramoff and Kidan were indicted in August on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud in connection with their purchase of the SunCruz fleet for $147.5 million from Miami businessman Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis.

    Prosecutors said the pair faked a $23 million wire transfer to make it appear that they were making a significant contribution of their own money into the deal. Based on that transfer, lenders Foothill Capital Corp. and Citadel Equity Fund Ltd. agreed to provide $60 million in financing for the purchase.

    Kidan pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines at sentencing scheduled for March 1.

    Scanlon agreed to cooperate in the SunCruz case as part of a plea agreement in a separate case with federal prosecutors in Washington. In that agreement, Scanlon admitted helping Kidan and Abramoff buy SunCruz, partly by persuading Ney to insert comments in the Congressional Record designed to pressure Boulis to sell.

    ---
    Last edited by dante; 01-03-2006 at 08:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Lobbyists bribing officals is nothing new. I ti sgood to see that finally both the lobbyist providing the bribe and the officals accepting the bribe are going to possibly receive punishment.

    Now if we can only get the murderer in Congress brought up on charges we would be making some more real progress......but I am sure Ol' Teddy and possibly Clinton are not concerned. :D

  3. #3
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    sojustask is offline The Late, Great Lady Mod - Retired User Rank
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    There is no honor among thieves. Give them a good enough deal and they will squeal like a stuck pig every time.

    This could get very interesting.

    Lady Mod

  4. #4
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Summary of Charges Against Abramoff

    By The Associated Press
    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, January 3, 2006; 2:11 PM

    -- Here are details of the three federal charges to which lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to a Justice Department filing in U.S. District Court:

    Conspiracy: Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon conspired to defraud Indian tribes in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas of millions of dollars. Abramoff made roughly $20 million in hidden profits from the scheme. Scanlon pleaded guilty to related charges in November.

    Abramoff also gave money, trips, meals and entertainment to public officials and their relatives in return for favorable treatment of his clients. The government says one member of the House of Representatives, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, received a "lavish trip to Scotland to play golf on world-famous courses" and other benefits in exchange for the congressman's support on various issues. Ney has denied any wrongdoing.

    In addition, Abramoff arranged for one of Ney's former staff members to lobby the congressman in 2002 before the staffer's one-year ban on lobbying had expired.

    ___

    Mail Fraud: Abramoff arranged for a $50,000 check to be sent through the mail from Texas to pay for the Scotland golf trip.

    ___

    Tax Evasion: Abramoff filed a tax return for 2002 that concealed his illegal income.

    ___

    Abramoff was also expected to plead guilty to two additional federal charges in Florida, stemming from a 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats, his attorney said.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...010300795.html

  5. 01-04-2006, 03:45 AM


  6. #5
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    Summary of Charges Against Abramoff

    By The Associated Press
    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, January 3, 2006; 2:11 PM

    -- Here are details of the three federal charges to which lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to a Justice Department filing in U.S. District Court:

    Conspiracy: Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon conspired to defraud Indian tribes in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas of millions of dollars. Abramoff made roughly $20 million in hidden profits from the scheme. Scanlon pleaded guilty to related charges in November.

    Abramoff also gave money, trips, meals and entertainment to public officials and their relatives in return for favorable treatment of his clients. The government says one member of the House of Representatives, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, received a "lavish trip to Scotland to play golf on world-famous courses" and other benefits in exchange for the congressman's support on various issues. Ney has denied any wrongdoing.

    In addition, Abramoff arranged for one of Ney's former staff members to lobby the congressman in 2002 before the staffer's one-year ban on lobbying had expired.

    ___

    Mail Fraud: Abramoff arranged for a $50,000 check to be sent through the mail from Texas to pay for the Scotland golf trip.

    ___

    Tax Evasion: Abramoff filed a tax return for 2002 that concealed his illegal income.

    ___

    Abramoff was also expected to plead guilty to two additional federal charges in Florida, stemming from a 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats, his attorney said.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...010300795.html
    And guess who was reportedly seen hanging out on Abramoff's boat.

    Hint: His passport was found in the charred ruins of Ground Zero.

    Yeah..THAT Ground Zero. You know, the one that got so hot that even steel girders melted.

  7. #6
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    "Hint: His passport was found in the charred ruins of Ground Zero."

    Please dchristie, fill us in on your conspiracy theory about how the government blew up the twin towers. I have not heard these stories in quite some time.

  8. #7
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Oooooooh! I'm all a-tingle in anticipation. I can't wait to hear the spin our right wing jerk offs will put on this one. The squealing should get intense. :)

  9. #8
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Abramoff plea agreement's impact on DeLay weighed
    By Todd J. Gillman

    The Dallas Morning News

    WASHINGTON Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff had been friends for years, trading easily on each other's success. One rose to the pinnacle of power in Congress. The other became the most sought-after lobbyist in town. They built a politically potent network of former aides, lobbyists and comrades-in-arms.

    The question hanging over Washington on Tuesday: Could Abramoff's fall and plea deal drag down his longtime ally?

    The financial and political ties between the men are so extensive, their histories and causes so intertwined, that some find it hard to fathom how the Texas Republican could escape as Abramoff facing 11 years in prison and $27 million in restitution begins to talk.

    In court Tuesday, Abramoff confessed to proferring all sorts of favors on just one lawmaker, and it wasn't DeLay. He told the court he'd provided the legislator, understood to be Ohio Republican Bob Ney, a "lavish trip to Scotland to play golf on world-famous courses, tickets to sporting events and other entertainment," meals at Abramoff's upscale restaurant, and generous campaign donations largess he also bestowed on DeLay.

    Prosecutors cited several favors Ney offered in return, including help with Abramoff's purchase of a fleet of casino ships. Justice Department and FBI officials have offered no such examples involving DeLay, and wouldn't say if they're digging or expect to learn of any in coming months.

    Abramoff and DeLay worked closely on many projects, traveling together to the Mariana Islands, Russia and the United Kingdom, ostensibly under the auspices of a conservative Washington think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research. Abramoff sat on the group's board, and reports surfaced that two of his clients each donated $25,000 to the nonprofit a day before the Britain junket.

    House rules prohibit travel paid for by lobbyists or their clients, though DeLay and other lawmakers on the trip say they had no idea where the group got the funds.

    Abramoff and his partner, former DeLay press secretary Michael Scanlon who has also pleaded guilty and cooperated with federal prosecutors routinely boasted of their connections with the majority leader when selling their services to Indian tribes and others.

    The Marianas connection could also provide investigators an interesting trail. DeLay sought to protect the garment industry on the islands, an American commonwealth in the Pacific, from U.S. labor laws.

    In 1999, during a power struggle in the local legislature, two former DeLay aides, Ed Buckham and Scanlon, went to Saipan to persuade two lawmakers to switch sides in a leadership vote, dangling promises of federal largess for which DeLay reportedly paved the way later. The favored candidate won and later awarded Abramoff a contract worth $1.6 million.

    DeLay and Abramoff also collaborated closely on the K Street Project, an effort to pressure Washington's premier lobbying firms to shun Democrats and stock their staffs with GOP loyalists. At one point the House ethics committee reprimanded DeLay for threatening retaliatory legislation against a trade group for hiring a Democrat as its top lobbyist.

    Abramoff raised at least $71,000 for DeLay's political committees in the past five years alone.

    Critics have raised questions about the $115,000 the congressman's wife, Christine DeLay, was paid over four years by Alexander Strategy Group a firm led by Buckham and other former DeLay aides that got client referrals from Abramoff for researching the charitable preferences of lawmakers. The DeLays said the work was real and the pay justified.

    Jan Baran, a Republican ethics lawyer who once represented then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, said the plea deal might carry no implications for DeLay.

    "There's nothing in there that involves him or suggests his involvement. ... If the Justice Department has some information about other public officials, they presumably would have included it by now," he said.

    He noted that courts are strict when it comes to enforcing bribery law. Prosecutors must prove quid pro quo Latin for "something for something."

    DeLay got favors from Abramoff. But so did several hundred colleagues.

    As speculation bubbled about what Abramoff could offer federal authorities, there was activity involving DeLay in Austin.

    Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle obtained subpoenas Tuesday for donations from two former Abramoff law firms Greenberg Traurig and Seattle-based Preston Gates to DeLay's state political-action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority.

    The grand jury, which is investigating money-laundering allegations against DeLay and several lieutenants, also ordered records of campaign donations from Abramoff's biggest lobbying client, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...amdelay04.html

  10. #9
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    Re: Lights On: GOP Cockroaches Running For Cover

    Can I rob a bank and just give back the money if i'm cought? Will no charges be filed againest me? Isn't there something in our laws about equal punishment? Lets see, I hug the guy at the airport in paradise, but I have no idea he was paying for the trip?

    If this boat floats we need to do some serious House cleaning, pun intended.

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