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A federal judge in Florida has ordered former lobbyist Jack Abramoff to report to prison by June 29 to begin serving a nearly six-year sentence.
Abramoff and Adam Kidan, a former business partner, were each sentenced last week to 70 months in prison and ordered to pay $21.7 million in restitution.
District Judge Paul Huck of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has instructed Abramoff and Kidan “to surrender for the service of sentence at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons before 2:00 P.M. on June 29.”
Abramoff and Kidan pleaded guilty to creating a phony wire transfer in September 2000. The document falsely stated that the two men had committed $23 million of their own funds to the purchase of SunCruz Casinos, a Florida-based casino cruise ship company. The fraudulent wire transfer helped Abramoff and Kidan garner $60 million in loans to complete the SunCruz purchase.
Abramoff also has pleaded guilty in a separate federal case in Washington, D.C. The next status hearing for that case is set for June 6, and Abramoff faces as many as 11 years in prison after admitting to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials. He is scheduled to serve those sentences concurrently. Abramoff also will receive a lesser sentence if he continues to cooperate with federal prosecutors who are investigating lawmakers and former House aides about their dealings with him.
Abramoff’s lawyers did not comment on Huck’s sentencing order, although they have lobbied Huck, the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to allow him to be sent to a prison located close to his wife and five children, who live in Maryland.
The Bureau of Prisons did not return a phone call for this story.