Scanlon Sentenced To 20 Months In Prison For Role In Abramoff Scandal

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February 11, 2011 8:33 a.m.

A U.S. District Judge sentenced Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff’s partner in a wide-ranging lobbying sandal, to 20 months in federal prison and 300 hours of community service.

Scanlon also may have to cough up more than $20 million to compensate several Indian tribes, as well as Abramoff’s former lobbying firm, for his role in defrauding them. Judge Ellen Huvelle ordered him to pay $20 million to the tribes and Greenberg Traurig, but Scanlon is disputing whether he should be forced to pay Greenberg Traurig, and that matter will be decided separately in the coming months.Federal prosecutors had asked for two years — far less time than the maximum because Scanlon had cooperated so extensively with them to crack open the wide-ranging corruption scheme. Scanlon’s attorneys had argued for no prison time for Scanlon, citing his “extraordinary cooperation” in the case.

Scanlon, the first in the investigation to plead guilty and cooperate, is credited with helping prosecutors win 20 convictions. He also voluntarily and separately assisted in the Texas money laundering case in which DeLay was recently found guilty and sentenced to three years. DeLay is appealing the ruling.

His legal team repeatedly called for a reduced sentence, claiming that Scanlon was a “changed man” and a better man than the one who ridiculed his Native American clients as “monkeys” and “troglodytes” while defrauding them

When addressing the court in a brief statement, Scanlon said he was “deeply remorseful” for what he had done. He has 14 days to determine whether file an appeal.

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