Washington lobbyist Abramoff indicted

Aug. 12, 2005 at 7:18 AM

MIAMI, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a business partner have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida on wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

The charges grew from their purchase of a fleet of Florida gambling boats from a businessman who later was killed in a gangland-style hit, The Washington Post said.

Abramoff, an associate of several leading Republicans, was arrested Thursday and was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, an FBI spokeswoman told CNN.

The indictment marks the first formal charges against Abramoff who has close ties to several influential GOP leaders, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Americans for Tax Reform director Grover Norquist, and former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed.

He was indicted in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with Adam Kidan, the former owner of the Dial-a-Mattress franchise in Washington. Kidan, 41, of New York, was expected to surrender to the FBI Friday.

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