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Former Abramoff business partner sentenced

  |   Feb. 11, 2011 at 3:02 PM
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A former business partner of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced in a U.S. District Court for his role in a corruption and fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington sentenced Michael Scanlon to 20 months in prison and ordered him to pay $20.2 million in restitution to his victims, as well as serve three years of probation after his prison release, the Justice Department said Friday in a release.

Scanlon pleaded guilty in November 2005 to conspiring to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud, and honest-services fraud.

Scanlon admitted he and Abramoff conspired to defraud four American Indian tribes that either operated or were interested in operating gaming casinos, the Justice Department said. Once Abramoff established a relationship with the tribal clients, he recommended Scanlon and his company for marketing and public relations work.

As part of the scheme, Scanlon and Abramoff charged fees that included high profit margins and then split the take in a secret kickback arrangement, court documents indicated

So far, 20 people, including lobbyists and public officials, have pleaded guilty or been convicted in activities associated with Abramoff and his associates, the Justice Department said. Abramoff pleaded guilty in January 2006 to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services fraud and tax evasion. He was sentenced in September 2008 to four months in prison.

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