December 16, 2005
The dominoes, they keep falling

Another plea deal in L'Affaire Abramoff.

Adam Kidan's plea bargain is likely to require that he cooperate in the case against Abramoff involving the SunCruz Casinos deal and perhaps even testify against his old partner.

Kidan pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud; two other felony counts were dropped. He could receive up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing March 1.

Abramoff and Kidan were indicted in August on charges of conspiracy and fraud for allegedly concocting a fake $23 million wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a significant portion of their own money into the $147.5 million SunCruz deal.

Two lenders agreed to provide $60 million in financing for the SunCruz purchase based on that false wire transfer, according to prosecutors.

Abramoff has claimed in court papers that Kidan was to blame for any irregularities in the deal and that he found out about it only later. Abramoff is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 9.

Another to follow?

The close links that Abramoff had with Ed Buckham, who runs the firm and is a former chief of staff to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and with Buckham's partner Tony Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to DeLay, is causing headaches for Alexander Strategy. The Justice Department's public integrity and fraud units are investigating Abramoff's lobbying activities and the possible bribery of public officials.

According to legal sources familiar with the probe, Rudy, who was a partner of Abramoff's at the firm Greenberg Traurig, may be close to a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors. Meanwhile, Buckham is reportedly being scrutinized by investigators interested in whether some clients that Abramoff shared with Alexander Strategy may have been used to help pay the $115,000 that DeLay's wife, Christine, received from Alexander Strategy over four years while serving as a consultant to the firm.


UPDATE: It's reached the punditocracy. Is nothing sacred?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 16, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack