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Tag: Jack Abramoff

Weekend Series on Crime History: Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

60 Minutes Report On the Very Crooked Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

http://youtu.be/ejkF447DkJw

Abramoff Lobbyist Kevin Ring Gets 20 Months

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The ugly era of Jack Abramoff — the evil lobbyist — resurfaced Wednesday inside the Beltway.

Kevin A. Ring, 41, a former lobbyist who worked with Abramoff, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in D.C. to 20 months in prison for his role in a scheme to corrupt public officials by providing an illegal stream of things of value, including vacations, employment for a congressman’s wife, meals, drinks, and high-priced tickets to exclusive concerts and sporting events, the Department of Justice announced.

Ring, 41, was convicted last November.

Authorities said the jury found Ring guilty on one count of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials by providing things of value to them and their staff members in order to induce or reward those who took official actions benefitting Ring and his clients.

To date, 20 people, including lobbyists and public officials, have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial in connection with the investigation into the activities of Abramoff and his associates.

Abramoff pleaded guilty in January 2006 to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services fraud and tax evasion. He was sentenced in September 2008 to 48 months in prison.

 

Watchdog Group Sues Justice Dept. For Failing to Release Investigative Documents on Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A government watchdog group — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) — wants to figure out why ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was never prosecuted federally.

CREW filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in D.C. against the Justice Department for failing to release records of the FBI probe into DeLay. On Oct. 19, the watchdog group said it filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA)  with the Justice Department and the FBI for investigative records relating to DeLay, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others, and reasons why authorities did not prosecute him.

“Rep. Tom DeLay spent years turning the House of Representatives into his personal casino, and yet shockingly was never federally prosecuted. The American people deserve to know why,”  CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.

“The DeLay case is just one in a string of troubling instances where the Department of Justice has declined to prosecute blatantly corrupt politicians,”  Sloan said. “The department doesn’t even want the public to know why it didn’t prosecute. If Rep. DeLay’s actions really were not criminal, shouldn’t DOJ be happy to turn over its records and prove that? Why all the secrecy?”

Texas authorities convicted DeLay on state charges in a scheme in which he illegally helped funnel corporate contributions to Republican Texas legislative candidates. He was sentenced in January to three years in prison, but remains free pending his appeal.

CREW said in a press release that the Justice Department denied the FOIA request because the release of records would interfere with open law enforcement proceedings.

“Yet DOJ told Rep. DeLay in August 2010 it had closed its investigation of him. In addition, the FBI argued releasing records would violate Rep. DeLay’s privacy, failing to take into account that he was a government official and there has been significant public interest in his conduct, the investigation, and DOJ’s decision not to prosecute,” the release said.

The Justice Department on Wednesday morning did not immediately respond for comment.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Gets 3 Years in Prison; Remains Free On $10,000 Bond

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The once powerful U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had been under FBI investigation in  connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal,  but was never charged,  was sentenced  in state court Monday in Austin, Tex., to three years in prison for a scheme in which he illegally helped funnel corporate contributions to Republican Texas legislative candidates, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that DeLay remained defiant to the end, denying wrongdoing. He was jailed for three hours before he posted a $10,000 bond. He will remain free pending an appeal that could potentially take years.

“Everything I did was covered by accountants and lawyers telling me what I had to do to stay within the law,” the ex-House majority leader said in court. “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.”

AP reported that Senior Judge Pat Priest disagreed with DeLay, saying those who write laws should be bound by them.

DeLay had been convicted in November of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money launder for using a political action committee to illegally send corporate donations to Texas House candidates in 2002, AP reported.

The FBI and Justice Department had investigated DeLay in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal. DeLay was never charged, but two of his political aides pleaded guilty in the case.

Jack Abramoff Finishes Sentence; Stops Working at Baltimore Kosher Pizzeria

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who made his fair share of doe working politicians on the Hill, is finished working at a kosher Baltimore pizza joint now that he’s finished his sentence and is on supervised release, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Abramoff, who was convicted on corruption, fraud and conspiracy charges, was released from fed prison on June 8, and then went on home confinement, which just ended on Dec. 3, according to the Bureau of Prisons records.

While on home confinement, he worked for Tov Pizza on marketing and customer outreach. The Hebrew word “tov” means good in English.

Tov Pizza owner Ron Rosenbluth told AP that Abramoff might occasionally stop by.

Jack Abramoff Associate Kevin Ring Convicted of Corruption

Jack Ambramoff/ msnbc

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – A reminder of much that is wrong with Washington reared its ugly head Monday when a federal jury in the capital convicted Kevin A. Ring,  who worked with corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, on five counts related to a scheme to corrupt public officials by providing a stream of gifts and favors including all-paid trips, meals and golf outings.

To date, 20 people, including lobbyists and public officials, have pleaded guilty, been convicted at trial, or are awaiting trial in connection with the ongoing investigation into the Abramoff scandal, the Justice Department said. Abramoff pleaded guilty to a variety of charges in January 2006 and was sentenced to four years in prison.

In the Ring case, the jury deliberated three days before finding him guilty of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials by providing them things of value, paying gratuity to a public official and three counts of honest services wire fraud.

“Through the talent and hard work of prosecutors from the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity and Fraud Sections, another member of ‘Team Abramoff’ has been held accountable for his actions,” said Mythili Raman, principal deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Divisoin.

“For years, this team of lobbyists schemed to corrupt public officials, and, because of their actions, Americans were denied the honest services of public servants.”

“The public trusts that government processes will be untainted by those who would seek to corrupt them,” added John G. Perren, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Authorities say Ring had clients around the U.S. including Native American tribal governments operating and interested in casinos.

Authorities charged that Ring and his co-conspirators identified public officials who could help those  clients and then provided them things of value which included all-expenses-paid travel, meals, drinks, golf outings, tickets to professional sporting and concert events and an employment opportunity for the wife of a congressman.

Read more »

Lawyer Says Justice Dept. Dropping Probe of Ex-House Leader Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It doesn’t look like the Justice Department will be filing any criminal charges against former House leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex).

Mike Allen of Politico reports that the Justice Department is dropping its six-year probe into Delay and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Allen attributed his information to DeLay’s lead attorney Richard Cullen.

“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told Allen. “This is the so-called Abramoff investigation run by the Public Integrity section of DOJ. There have been a series of convictions and guilty pleas since 2005. A campaign-related charge against him continues in Texas.

“In 2005, we voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997. Several members of Congress objected to producing official government records under Speech or Debate Clause concerns. DeLay took the opposite position, ordering all his staff to answer all questions. He turned over more than 1,000 documents, and several of his aides gave interviews and grand jury testimony.”

DeLay still faces state charges in Texas of money laundering.