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Abramoff Scandal Figures Sentenced

POSTED: 05:58 PM ET, 12/14/2007 by The Editors

The woman who was lobbyist Jack Abramoff's conduit to the top ranks of the Interior Department was sentenced today to two months in a halfway house and four years' probation.

Italia Federici, the one-time president of a Republican environmental group, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to tax evasion and obstructing the Senate's investigation of Abramoff's lobbying for Indian tribes. Her colleague, Robert Jared Carpenter, was given a similar sentence for tax evasion later in the day. They are among more than a dozen people to be convicted in connection with the Abramoff scandal.

Prosecutors had asked Judge Ellen S. Huvelle to forgo any incarceration for Federici because of what they said was her assistance in the continuing corruption investigation. But the judge insisted that Federici serve some time in a halfway house.

Federici, 38, admitted she knowingly failed to pay income taxes on $187,000 in salary she drew over three years as president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy and that she "minimized the extent of information I had" when she testified about Abramoff and former deputy Interior secretary J. Steven Griles before openly skeptical members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Federici served as a conduit for information between Abramoff, who had his tribal clients donate $500,000 to her group, and Griles, with whom she was linked romantically. Jonathan Rosen, Federici's lawyer, told the court that Federici "was used" by Abramoff and Griles. "This young D.C. neophyte... each man used her for his own pleasure and gain," said Rosen.

But Judge Huvelle asked why anyone would "believe for a minute" that Abramoff's client contributions were not connected to Federici's role as an intermediary, passing along Abramoff's requests to Griles. Were his constant stream of communications a coincidence? She asked Federici: "You didn't understand there was any quid pro quo going on?"

"It did strike me as odd," said Federici. But, she said, "at the time I viewed Mr. Abramoff as what we in the nonprofit community call an angel," explaining that she saw him as "a truly ideologally aligned Republican." CREA was orginally founded by former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.

During the sentencing of Carpenter, who was the vice president of CREA, his lawyer told the judge that Federici also had been romantically involved with Carpenter. Prosecutors had asked that Carpenter be sentenced to a term of 10 to 16 months in jail, but Judge Huevelle said she could not see giving Carpenter a more severe punishment than his former boss. He was given 45 days in a halfway house plus four years' probation.

Carpenter's lawyer G. Allen Dale called his client "a footnote in the Abramoff investigation." Carpenter, said Dale, knew nothing of Federici's dealings with Griles, explaining: "Italia and Mr. Carpenter were lovers. She didn't share pillow talk with him... that was her little secret world."
--Susan Schmidt

By The Editors |  December 14, 2007; 5:58 PM ET Abramoff Scandal
Previous: The Baseball Scandal | Next: Addiction Treatment Abused

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My Name is
EarthTribeMember. What I am seeing here is that the Indians or Native Americans or First Americans, which is my preference when referring to the people who where the early inhabitants of North America; have done nothing wrong. They are a competitive people. They are competing in a business world long occupied by other multinational corporations profiting from legal gaming in the United States and in other countries. Nevada has had gaming for a long time. New Jersey has had theirs for awhile also. Is there room for more
casinos? Oh yes. My belief is as long as a person has a few dollars to 'invest' in the possibility of 'winning'~they have 'hope' and sometimes, they do hit the 'Jack pot'.
How many congress persons and environmental groups have had financial gain in their involvement with all persons in the gaming industry? Meaning promoting them or not?
It is my understanding that Louisiana is one of our poorest, if not, the poorest state in this nation. Gaming has allowed the First Americans to increase their incomes, enabling them to eat better; have better medical care and further their education. They also participate in helping local organizations serve the 'people'.
They also have some of the best eateries in their casinos~at very reasonable prices.
In Laughton, Nevada, one can get the biggest and best shrimp cocktails for 99 cents each.
The corruption involved in most all corporate businesses is hard to digest. Is this just the American Way?
Thanking you for your investigations of this since 2001. Perhaps, some of the extra civilian intelligence folk hired on after 9/11/2001, now could better serve this world (the ones giving us intelligence on the Mid-East) in obtaining the evidence necessary to remove the corruption from some of the Congress Persons and the 'mafia-type' civilians?
Respectfully Submitted..

Posted by: Sandra Rodgers | December 17, 2007 6:45 AM

My Name is
EarthTribeMember. What I am seeing here is that the Indians or Native Americans or First Americans, which is my preference when referring to the people who where the early inhabitants of North America; have done nothing wrong. They are a competitive people. They are competing in a business world long occupied by other multinational corporations profiting from legal gaming in the United States and in other countries. Nevada has had gaming for a long time. New Jersey has had theirs for awhile also. Is there room for more
casinos? Oh yes. My belief is as long as a person has a few dollars to 'invest' in the possibility of 'winning'~they have 'hope' and sometimes, they do hit the 'Jack pot'.
How many congress persons and environmental groups have had financial gain in their involvement with all persons in the gaming industry? Meaning promoting them or not?
It is my understanding that Louisiana is one of our poorest, if not, the poorest state in this nation. Gaming has allowed the First Americans to increase their incomes, enabling them to eat better; have better medical care and further their education. They also participate in helping local organizations serve the 'people'.
They also have some of the best eateries in their casinos~at very reasonable prices.
In Laughton, Nevada, one can get the biggest and best shrimp cocktails for 99 cents each.
The corruption involved in most all corporate businesses is hard to digest. Is this just the American Way?
Thanking you for your investigations of this since 2001. Perhaps, some of the extra civilian intelligence folk hired on after 9/11/2001, now could better serve this world (the ones giving us intelligence on the Mid-East) in obtaining the evidence necessary to remove the corruption from some of the Congress Persons and the 'mafia-type' civilians?
Respectfully Submitted..

Posted by: Sandra Rodgers | December 17, 2007 6:48 AM

2 mos. half-way house? pled guilty to 'tax evasion & obstruction'? Failure to pay taxes on $187,000 for 3 years? Yikes... hope none of those serving multiple-years and paying hefty fines see this!

Posted by: lovelightpeace1 | December 21, 2007 3:46 PM

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