WASHINGTON – Jack Abramoff was sentenced to 4 years in prison Thursday for corrupting Congress and the executive branch and dodging taxes. U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle sentenced him to more than the 39 months prosecutors sought, but less than the 11 years possible for his crimes.
Prosecutors asked for leniency to encourage others to cooperate, as Abramoff had: he helped send 10 corrupt officials to prison, including U.S. Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.
Two tribal leaders asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence; Abramoff took $66 million in fees from Indian tribes. Abramoff owes Indian tribes – his former clients – $15 million in restitution. He has served 2 years of a separate sentence on a Florida fraud case involving cruise ships.