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Abramoff associate convicted in retrial

Nov. 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Kevin Ring, a former associate of imprisoned Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, was convicted Monday of scheming to corrupt public officials.

It was Ring's second trial on the charges. The first one ended in a hung jury that led to the court declaring a mistrial.

Ring was found guilty in U.S. District Court on one count of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials by giving them and their staff things of value in return for official actions benefiting Ring and his clients; one count of paying a gratuity to a public official; and three counts of honest services wire fraud. He was acquitted on three other counts of honest services fraud.

"The public trusts that government processes will be untainted by those who would seek to corrupt them," John G. Perren, acting assistant director of the FBI Washington field office, said in a statement following the verdict. "The FBI will vigorously investigate those who seek to disregard the laws that our country was built on and illegally influence those in office."

Authorities said Ring had clients throughout the United States, including Native American tribal governments operating and interested in operating gambling casinos, and illegally lavished federal officials with trips, meals, golf outings, and tickets to sporting events, concerts and other events to curry favor.

Ring is to be sentenced March 1. He also still faces trial on two obstruction of justice charges.

The Justice Department says 20 individuals have been convicted or are awaiting trial in the case, including Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in 2006 and was sentenced in 2008 to four years in prison.

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