Abramoff pleads guilty to three charges

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has been linked to influence peddling in the U.S. Congress, has pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

Abramoff appeared Tuesday at a federal court in Washington and said he has "profound regret and sorrow for the multitude of mistakes and harm I have caused." He then admitted guilt to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion.


He could be sentenced to 10 years in prison on each of the charges but The Washington Post said the sentence will be about one-third of that if he meets other parts of the plea agreement.

He is expected to enter a similar plea Wednesday on charges filed in Florida regarding fraud, the Post reported. Those allegations carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and that sentence would likely run concurrently with the Washington penalty, the Post said.

The agreement also calls for Abramoff and co-defendants to repay some $25 million that was defrauded from clients, the Post said. The tax-evasion guilty plea will cost the lobbyist $1.7 million to the Internal Revenue Service.

Documents related to the Washington charges claim Abramoff bribed public officials, including someone identified as "Representative #1," which the Post said is Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio. Ney has denied any wrongdoing.


However, Abramoff has been linked to other members of Congress. Two of his associates, including one who is a former press secretary of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, have also entered plea agreements.

All three are expected to help the government investigation into political corruption related to lobbying, the Post said.

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