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

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lobbyist Abramoff gets subpoenaed in Boulis murder case: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Jon Burstein
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted March 24 2006

Fallen super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his former business partner soon will be subpoenaed by defense attorneys to give sworn statements in the Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis murder case.

The attorney for murder suspect Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello filed paperwork this week asking to question Abramoff and Long Island businessman Adam Kidan about the SunCruz Casino founder's gangland-style slaying. Broward Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan granted the request Thursday after prosecutors agreed to it.

Prosecutor Brian Cavanagh said the Broward State Attorney's Office had been concerned about subpoenaing Kidan and Abramoff because it didn't want to give them any form of immunity. Kidan has not been eliminated as a suspect in the murder case, Cavanagh said.

"The point we made in court was we weren't saying he would be a suspect in place of the present defendants, it's a question of whether he will be an additional defendant," Cavanagh said. "All the defendants are innocent until proven guilty and certainly at the present time Mr. Kidan is not under indictment so there has not even been a formal allegation at this juncture."

Attorneys for Kidan and Abramoff declined to comment Thursday, but they have said their clients had nothing to do with the murder plot.

Kidan's attorney, Joseph Conway, said last month that Kidan is ready to testify as part of a plea deal he cut with federal prosecutors. Kidan and Abramoff have pleaded guilty to lying on financial statements and creating phony documents to convince lenders to back their bid for SunCruz, a Dania Beach-based gambling ship fleet.

The SunCruz fraud case enabled prosecutors to leverage Abramoff into cooperating with a potentially wide-ranging federal investigation into congressional bribery and influence peddling.

Moscatiello's attorney, David Bogenschutz, wrote in court papers that he needed to question the two men because "the SunCruz Casino sale is at the heart" of the murder case.

Boulis was ambushed Feb. 6, 2001, shortly after he left his Fort Lauderdale office. One car stopped in front of his BMW; a second car pulled up alongside the self-made millionaire and he was sprayed with bullets.

In the months leading up to his murder, Boulis and Kidan had been locked in an acrimonious battle over SunCruz. Boulis had cut a deal to sell SunCruz to a partnership including Kidan and Abramoff, but the business agreement had soured and Boulis wanted to regain control.

A Broward County grand jury indicted Moscatiello, 67; Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, 49; and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, 28, in September for Boulis' slaying. All three have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They could face the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors have suggested the three defendants killed Boulis to ensure he didn't take back SunCruz. While Kidan ran SunCruz, he paid $145,000 in consulting fees to companies tied to Moscatiello, who had admitted ties to the Gambino crime family and to late mob boss John Gotti, according to court records A company controlled by Ferrari received an additional $95,000 for security from Kidan's SunCruz, court records show.

Attorneys for Moscatiello and Fiorillo have been arguing that the state's case isn't strong enough for them to be in jail without bond. Their bond hearing will continue this afternoon.


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