Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist whose corruption became a symbol of Washington’s excess influence peddling, will return to jail for violating the law that was amended in response to his previous crimes, police officials said Thursday.
Prosecutors said Abramoff, 62, is the first person accused of violating the Lobbying Disclosure Law, which was amended in 2007 after details of his previous scheme emerged, one of the biggest corruption scandals in modern times. . She pleaded guilty to lobbying violations and criminal conspiracy for the secret and deceptive work she carried out on behalf of the cryptocurrency and marijuana projects, according to court documents.
Prosecutors in San Francisco said that in 2017, Abramoff secretly agreed to seek changes to federal law, and met with members of Congress, on behalf of the marijuana industry without registering as a lobbyist.
“Abramoff was aware of the obligations to register as a lobbyist in part because Congress amended the provisions of the Lobbying Disclosure Act in 2007 in part as a reaction to Abramoff’s past conduct as a lobbyist,” court documents said.
The charges against Mr. Abramoff carry a maximum penalty of five years.
Abramoff was also indicted for his involvement in AML BitCoin, a digital token that claimed to solve the anonymity and money laundering issues that have plagued Bitcoin.
The project was publicly led by a Texas man, Marcus Andrade, who set out to raise $ 100 million for the ordinary investor project in 2017 when thousands of similar digital tokens promoted so-called initial coin offerings. Prosecutors also revealed federal charges against Mr. Andrade on Thursday; He has pleaded not guilty.
Legal filings indicated that Abramoff worked behind the scenes with Andrade to market AML BitCoin to potential investors with a series of false claims. At one point, they said the NFL had rejected a Super Bowl ad for the project, a claim the NFL contested.
Prosecutors said Abramoff promoted these claims, which he knew were false, in meetings with investors and in articles he wrote and agreed to publish.
The project eventually raised $ 5.6 million from investors, some of which was redirected for personal use, authorities said. Investors received tokens, but had “no practical use,” according to legal filings.
The criminal charges announced by federal prosecutors in San Francisco mark an unhappy turn for Mr. Abramoff.
Mr. Abramoff made a public demonstration of his rehabilitation when he was released from prison in 2010 after serving nearly four years on a variety of charges related to corrupt lobbying as part of a conglomerate that defrauded the Indian tribes of millions of dollars and He used much of that money to try to win favor with lawmakers.
But in 2017 he got attention when he announced that he would be on a television show, “Capital Makeover: Bitcoin Brigade” in which he would serve as a tutor and guide for the AML BitCoin project.
“When Marcus approached me, I didn’t know a bitcoin from a sirloin,” he said at the time. “I made a commitment to do everything I can to help, except lobby Congress myself.”