Last of Abramoff Probe Defendants Found Guilty
A federal jury deemed former House aide Fraser Verrusio guilty on public corruption charges Thursday, in the final trial to stem from the federal government’s long-running probe of disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Verrusio, a former aide to then-House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska), faced charges stemming from his participation in a 2003 trip to the World Series in New York.
Federal prosecutors charged Verrusio in a 2009 indictment with accepting an “illegal gratuity” from then-lobbyist Jim Hirni and with making false statements for not disclosing the trip on his annual financial disclosure form for that year.
Abramoff played no apparent role in the trip and is not named in the indictment.
According to the Justice Department, 20 individuals have been charged with crimes stemming from the Abramoff investigation. Verrusio was one of three defendants to challenge the allegations in court, but all three were convicted. Seventeen individuals struck plea agreements.