Corrupt Republican Sentenced to 48 Months in prison

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. (Will we see Bush pardon him the way he did Scooter?)

    Jack Abramoff sentenced to 48 months
    The former lobbyist faced a much harsher term for his role in a corruption scandal.
    By Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    2:15 PM PDT, September 4, 2008
    WASHINGTON -- Jack A. Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican super-lobbyist, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a corruption scandal that rocked Congress and the Bush administration.

    U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle pronounced the sentence as a tearful Abramoff stood before her with his lawyers this afternoon in a courtroom that included both victims and family members.

    The sentence was far below the 121 months that Abramoff could have received under federal sentencing guidelines but more than either the Justice Department or his lawyers had requested.

    Huvelle said Abramoff deserved the sharp reduction in sentence because of his help in aiding prosecutors pursue other targets in the lobbying scandal.

    But she also said she wanted to send a strong signal that compromising the integrity of public officials would not be taken lightly.

    Huvelle said Abramoff had "corrupted the political process and deprived the public of the honest services" of officials in the executive and legislative branches.

    Abramoff has been in prison for approximately two years on a separate bank fraud conviction in Florida.

    The judge said the effect of her sentence would be that Abramoff would serve a total "just shy of six years," including the time he has already served.

    "I view that as fair. ... That is a substantial amount of time," the judge said. "But there has been serious wrongdoing here and in Florida."

    Addressing the court before sentencing, Abramoff acknowledged to Huvelle that he had "happily and arrogantly engaged" in a corrupt lifestyle but that "I come before you today as a broken man.

    "I have fallen into an abyss, your honor, and I don't know quite how to get out," he said. "My name is the butt of jokes, the source of laughs, the title of scandals, the synonym for perfidy, and I am not sure that will ever change.

    "I beg your honor to consider all the things you have heard today in rendering your judgment about how much longer I need to be away from my family," he concluded. "I am so sorry I put everyone through all this."

    The sentencing marked the culmination of the rise and fall of a powerful Republican power-broker whose web of influence -- and crimes -- came to snare figures in the Bush administration, members of Congress and their top aides and other well-heeled lobbyists in the U.S. Capitol.

    Abramoff was imprisoned nearly 20 months ago after he was convicted on charges of fraud and conspiracy in connection with his purchase of a casino boat operation in Florida. He has since been imprisoned in a federal corrections facility in western Maryland and, by the government's account, is eagerly cooperating in cases against some of his old cronies.

    Abramoff pleaded guilty in January 2006 to showering public officials with gifts and inducing them to take official action on behalf of his once-thriving K Street lobbying team. The largesse ranged from the use of luxury suites at Washington-area sports venues and free meals at an upscale restaurant Abramoff once owned in his heyday to an all-expenses-paid golf outing to Scotland and other lavish inducements and perks.

    Prosecutors also alleged that he bilked some tribal groups he once represented out of millions of dollars in fees.

    The officials who were snagged in the influence-peddling scheme included former Rep. Bob Ney (R- Ohio), who was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in what the government has called the federal crime of "honest services fraud." In court papers filed in advance of today's hearing, prosecutors cited 10 other cases in which they said they benefited from tips and other information Abramoff gave them.

    Citing his "extraordinary" cooperation, the government had asked Huvelle for a sentence of 64 months in prison in the corruption case, court papers show. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Abramoff faced a minimum sentence of at least 108 months in prison.

    "Abramoff's cooperation led directly to the guilty pleas of three high-ranking congressional staffers ... as well as one presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed executive branch official," the court papers said. "His cooperation also was important to the prosecution of a former U.S. congressman ... another former high-ranking congressional staffer ...and a former mid-level Department of Justice official ..."

    "By any measure, his cooperation has been both significant and useful," the government concluded in its papers.

    Abramoff's lawyers had asked that Huvelle reduce his sentence even further below the recommended guidelines level, and that he be given credit for the time he has served already in connection with the Florida case. He is scheduled to be released from prison in connection with that conviction in December 2011, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

  2. Come on now.... don't pick on this guy... its not his fault!

    Is is the LIBERAL MEDIA or the LIBERAL prosecutor's fault!

    It's never the republicans responsibility!