Tales from the Trail

4 years later, ex-House aide faces sentencing in Abramoff scandal

More than four years after agreeing to plead guilty in the Abramoff political lobbying scandal that rocked Washington, D.C., the press secretary for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will learn late this summer how much time in prison he will face.


Michael Scanlon, who left DeLay to work with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty in November 2005 to one count of conspiracy in defrauding Indian tribes of millions of dollars and lavishing gifts upon a member of the U.S. Congress.

He could be required to pay as much as $19.7 million in restitution to the tribes, a $250,000 fine and could face up to five years in prison.

Scanlon’s sentencing has been repeatedly put off while he cooperated with investigators and prosecutors as they probed the wide-ranging activities of Abramoff and others.  Abramoff was sentenced in 2008 to four years in prison for the corruption scandal and was already serving six years in prison for unrelated charges.

In court papers filed on Tuesday, the Justice Department and Scanlon asked the court to set his sentencing date for August 2010 after the Supreme Court is expected to rule on challenges to the so-called honest services laws that underpinned the case against him.

Prosecutors urge throwing the book at convicted ex-lawmaker

A U.S. judge on Friday will sentence former Congressman William “Cold Cash” Jefferson after he was convicted on multiple bribery and money laundering charges. And prosecutors want to throw the book at him.

TheCRIME-JEFFERSON/ former Louisiana lawmaker faces between 27 and 33 years in prison according to federal sentencing guidelines and prosecutors said that sounds good to them. Authorities discovered $90,000 in Jefferson’s freezer during their investigation.

“As the defendant stands convicted of some of the most serious corrupt schemes uncovered in recent history, he is without remorse and has yet to accept responsibility for his actions,” according to a memorandum filed with the court late Friday.