US & Canada

Disgraced lobbyist Abramoff released to halfway house

Jack Abramoff leaving court in 2006
Image caption Jack Abramoff had been imprisoned in a minimum security facility in Maryland

Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was jailed on corruption charges in 2006, has been released into a halfway house to serve out his sentence.

Abramoff's crimes include a fraudulent deal to buy casino boats and conspiring to bribe public officials.

The case caused a scandal in Washington and sparked off a wide-ranging public corruption probe.

He is expected to be released from the halfway house outside Washington DC on 4 December.

Abramoff was first convicted of faking a wire transfer of $23m (£13m) to obtain loans for the purchase of the SunCruz fleet of casino boats.

He admitted to the bribery charges in a second case which also involved tax evasion and defrauding his clients.

As a lobbyist, Abramoff's network reached deep into Washington's political establishment, and his investigation sent shockwaves through the city.

As part of his plea deal, Abramoff provided information to the Justice Department that helped convict a member of Congress for taking bribes.

A former Deputy Secretary of the Interior appointed by President George W Bush - J Steven Griles - was the highest level administration official convicted.

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