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

Monday, March 06, 2006

Miami judge refuses to delay sentencing for lobbyist Abramoff: South Florida Sun-Sentinel


March 6, 2006, 12:15 PM EST

MIAMI -- A federal judge on Monday refused to delay sentencing 90 days for disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff despite statements from government lawyers that sending Abramoff to prison could jeopardize his cooperation in ongoing criminal probes.

U.S. District Judge Paul Huck set sentencing for Abramoff and co-defendant Adam Kidan for March 29 but said he would probably not require an immediate surrender, allowing the men to remain free and available to assist investigators.

Abbe Lowell, Abramoff's Washington D.C.-based defense lawyer, warned Huck that he might be obligated at a sentencing hearing to reveal details of the government's pending investigations into the Capitol Hill lawmakers who did business with Abramoff.

"We will name names. We will provide the public with evidence of what is going on out there," Lowell said. "It seems to me that is not in the interest of law enforcement."

Huck defended his decision to proceed with sentencing, remarking that Abramoff and Kidan's cooperation with federal investigators could go on for years.

"I'm not persuaded we should treat Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff any differently than anyone else," Huck said.

Abramoff pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to charges that he and Kidan fabricated a fake wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a sizable chunk of their own money into the $147.5 million purchase of the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet in 2000. Kidan pleaded guilty late last year.

Abramoff also pleaded guilty in January to charges stemming from an investigation into his ties to members of Congress and the Bush administration.

Both guilty pleas require extensive cooperation from Abramoff in exchange for possible leniency at sentencing. In the Florida case, Abramoff and Kidan both face a maximum of just over seven years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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