BREAKING NEWS ~ Lobbyist Abramoff sentenced to almost 6 years prison for fraud Bernard Hibbitts at 1:36 PM ET
[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that a federal judge in Florida has sentenced former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] to five years and 10 months in prison on two conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from falsification of documents to procure a loan for the 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casino [corporate website] by Abramoff and his partners. Abramoff and co-defendant Adam Kidan have also been ordered to pay $21 million in restitution.
Earlier this month US District Judge Paul C. Huck agreed to delay sentencing [JURIST report] two weeks, but rejected a longer delay of up to 90 days which prosecutors had sought to avoid jeopardizing an ongoing federal corruption investigation [Wikipedia backgrounder] which has alarmed senior Republicans. Abramoff faced a maximum seven years prison under his January plea agreement [JURIST report; PDF text], to be reduced depending on the quality of information he provided to investigators. The sentence handed down Wednesday was the minimum provided for under federal sentencing guidelines, perhaps also reflecting the numerous leniency letters that the Abramoff's defense attorneys submitted in his support. Reuters has more.
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