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Abramoff: Convicted lobbyist gets 70 months in prison. $21 million restitution. 3 years supervised release. 750 hours community service. Too much? Too little?

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From the Department of Justice...the prison time for convicted former lobbist Jack Abramoff...

MIAMI-Jack A. Abramoff and Adam R. Kidan were sentenced to 70 months in prison followed by three years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge of for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to Foothill Capital in the amount of $21,701,015.45. The defendants were also ordered to complete 750 hours of community service during their supervised release period.


United States Attorney R. Alexander Acosta

Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2006
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/SDFL

ABRAMOFF AND KIDAN SENTENCED TO

PRISON ON CONSPIRACY AND FRAUD CHARGES

MIAMI-Jack A. Abramoff and Adam R. Kidan were sentenced to 70 months in prison followed by three years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge of for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to Foothill Capital in the amount of $21,701,015.45. The defendants were also ordered to complete 750 hours of community service during their supervised release period.

On Jan. 4, 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (Counts 1 and 3 of the Indictment). Co-defendant Kidan had previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2005 to similar charges (Counts 1 and 4 of the Indictment).

The two were indicted on Aug. 11, 2005 by a federal grand jury sitting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. According to the Indictment and the defendants' plea colloquies, on Sept. 27, 2000, Foothill Capital Corporation, along with Citadel Equity Fund, Ltd., funded approximately $60 million in loans toward the $147.5 million dollar sale of SunCruz Casinos by Konstantinos (Gus) Boulis to a group of investors headed by defendants Abramoff and Kidan. As an express condition for providing the loan, the lenders required Abramoff and Kidan to make a cash equity contribution toward the purchase price in an amount of at least $23 million.

As proof that the lenders' cash contribution condition had been met and as part of the closing documents, Abramoff and Kidan signed "cash equity contribution" statements asserting that the buyers had contributed no less than $23 million in cash toward the purchase of SunCruz. In support of these statements, Abramoff and Kidan caused to be sent to the lenders a counterfeit copy of a wire funds transfer notification reflecting that $23 million had been transferred to the account of Gus Boulis at Ocean Bank located in Miami. The lenders relied on this counterfeit copy of the wire funds transfer to approve and fund the loan. In fact, however, the copy of the wire funds transfer notification reflecting the $23 million transfer was fraudulent. The buyers never made any cash contributions toward the purchase of SunCruz and no such transfer of funds ever occurred.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio and Paul F. Schwartz, and Trial Attorney Guy D. Singer of the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 29, 2006 3:22 PM.

Cheney: Tells Fox's Tony Snow that Sen. Russ Feingold's call for Bush censure should be treated with ``contempt.'' was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet Column: Senate new ethics and lobbying bill falls short. No hope House will do better. Senate keeps discount flight perk. is the next entry in this blog.

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