Former Abramoff colleague sentenced

Oct. 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A former colleague of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced Wednesday for his role in an illegal lobbying scheme, the Justice Department said.

Kevin Ring was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his role in a plot to corrupt public officials by illegally offering things of value such as vacations, employment for a congressman's wife, meals, drinks, and expensive tickets to entertainment or sporting events, the department said Wednesday in a release.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in the District of Columbia also sentenced Ring to 30 months of supervised release after his prison stint.

A jury found the former lobbyist guilty on one count of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials, one count of paying a gratuity to a public official and three counts of honest services wire fraud.

Ring still awaits trial on two counts of obstructing justice, the department said. Those charges arise from Ring's alleged efforts to frustrate criminal and congressional investigations by preventing the reporting of his criminal conduct to federal authorities. The court severed those two counts and Ring is scheduled to stand trial at a later date.

To date, 20 individuals, including lobbyists and public officials, have pleaded guilty or were tried and convicted in the investigation into the activities of Abramoff and his associates. 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 48 months in prison.

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