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Abramoff Co-Conspirator Scanlon Sentenced to 20 Months & $20M+ Restitution

February 14, 2011

Friday, Michael Scanlon — former business partner and convicted co-conspirator of superlobbyist Jack Abramoff — was sentenced to nearly two years in prison and ordered to pay $20,191,537 for his role in the biggest fraud in Washington D.C. history that has already resulted in the convictions of over 20 politicians, lobbyists, and businessmen and spawned two movies: (1) a documentary and (2) a feature film. An almost too perfect combination of mixed media for chronicling a conspiracy that was enabled by a group of men who sold their fraud by spinning an all too perfect combination of fact and fiction. According to DoJ, plea documents and sentencing documents and testimony demonstrated:

Scanlon [and] Abramoff conspired to defraud four Native American Indian tribes that either operated or were interested in operating gaming casinos in a scheme referred to as “Gimme Five.” Each of these four clients, which were tribes located in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Michigan, hired Abramoff to give advice regarding how best to limit competition from competing casinos or, in one instance, to re-open a previously closed casino. According to court documents, once Abramoff had established a relationship with the tribal clients, he told them that they needed grass-roots work and public relations services, and he recommended Scanlon and [Capital Campaign Strategies LLC (CCS)] primarily to provide these services. As Scanlon knew, the clients relied on Abramoff’s recommendation in deciding to hire Scanlon and CCS because of Abramoff’s expertise in these matters.

THE DOCUMENTARY

As part of the scheme, Scanlon and Abramoff agreed to charge fees that incorporated huge profit margins and then split the net profits in a secret kick-back arrangement. According to information presented in court, Scanlon knew keeping the kick-back arrangement a secret from the clients was crucial to the success of their scheme, therefore he and Abramoff concealed the arrangement from the tribal clients. According to the plea agreement, CCS received net profits of approximately $39.5 million through this scheme. Scanlon kicked-back approximately $20 million to Abramoff for his assistance to CCS in obtaining these profits.

THE FEATURE FILM

In addition to the kick-back scheme, Scanlon also admitted that he, Abramoff and others engaged in a pattern of bribery and honest services fraud. Through these schemes, Scanlon and the lobbyist co-conspirators offered and provided a stream of things of value to public officials, including trips, campaign contributions, meals and entertainment, in exchange for agreements that the public officials would use their official positions and influence to benefit Abramoff, Scanlon and their clients.

To report fraud against the taxpayers, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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