News and articles relating to the scandal surrounding Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Seattle Times: Local News: Abramoff's illegal acts at Preston Gates

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty last month to four felonies involving wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud his clients, schemes to corrupt public officials, and tax evasion.

His two plea agreements detail actions that occurred while Abramoff worked at the Seattle-based law and lobbying firm Preston Gates.

Trying to corrupt a congressional aide:

Beginning in 1999, Abramoff and others enlisted a congressional aide to perform a series of official acts, including help to stop Internet gambling legislation and to oppose postal-rate increases. With the intent to influence officials' acts, Abramoff provided things of value, including a job for the aide's wife that paid $50,000 from June 2000 through February 2001.

Trying to corrupt a congressman:

Abramoff sought to influence a congressman through campaign contributions, golf, regular meals, fund-raising events and other things of value. In 1999 and 2000, Abramoff and a partner were trying to purchase a fleet of casino ships operated by SunCruz. The congressman, Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, in 2000 inserted two separate statements into the congressional record at Abramoff's and his partner's request. One in March 2000 attacked the SunCruz owner as Abramoff sought to forge favorable sale terms, and another in October 2000 praised the honesty and integrity of Abramoff's partner after the sale was completed.

Trying to enlist congressional help to land a lobbying client:

In January 2000, Abramoff arranged a trip to the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific for a senior staff member of Ney. The goal was to gain assistance for Abramoff, and Preston Gates, to obtain and maintain the Marianas government as a lobbying client.

Bilking lenders through wire fraud:

Abramoff helped create a bogus wire transfer for $23 million to persuade lenders to help bankroll the purchase of SunCruz casino ships for more than $140 million. The sale was finalized in September 2000.


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