Jack A. Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist at the center of a major corruption scandal, was sentenced in Miami today to five years and 10 months in prison for his role in the fraudulent purchase of a fleet of casino cruise ships. An associate received the same sentence.
U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck sentenced Abramoff, 47, and his former partner, Adam R. Kidan, 41, after considering their pleas for the shortest possible prison terms. Each laid most of the blame on the other for the scam, in which they faked a $23 million wire transfer to obtain financing for the 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos from an owner who was later shot to death in a gangland-style hit.
The maximum sentence was seven years six months. However, he’s yet to be sentenced on other charges, for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff pleaded guilty to those charges in January.