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Friday, August 19, 2005

Abramoff will plead not guilty to fraud charges, lawyer says
Krista-Ann Staley at 11:19 AM ET

[JURIST] Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff [Wikipedia profile], indicted by a federal grand jury [JURIST report] on bank fraud charges last week, will plead not guilty, according to a statement made by his lawyer Neal Sonnett Thursday. The charges allege he defrauded two lenders of $60 million to buy San Cruz Casino from Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, who was murdered in 2001. Sonnett also stated Abramoff will participate in the investigation [JURIST report] of the murder, and that Abramoff "looks forward to defending himself" on the current charges. Abramoff is also involved in the investigations [JURIST report] of US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [official website] and is currently under investigation for lobbying work done for an Indian tribe. The lobbyist appeared before US Magistrate Stephen Brown Thursday but was asked not to enter a plea. His arraignment on the fraud charges has been postponed until August 29 because he does not yet have a full-time attorney. Reuters has more.

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