Earlier this week, pranksters managed to get the words "Bush indictment" into the "top searches" list on Technorati. Keep searching, folks, but another well-connected resident of the nation's capital is apparently soon to find the words "criminal defendant" before his name.
The Associated Press is reporting that lobbyist Jack Abramoff is about to be indicted on federal bank fraud charges. Federal law enforcement officials tell the AP that a grand jury in Florida may indict Abramoff and an associate, New York businessman Adam Kidan, as early as today on charges arising out of the purchase of SunCruz casinos by Abramoff and his associates in 2000. The indictment will include allegations about the use of a fake wire transfer to defraud lenders out of approximately $60 million, the AP says."The indictment against Abramoff was expected to charge that he used income from SunCruz to finance political fund-raising activities, including events at private boxes at Washington-area sports venues such as the MCI Center and Oriole Park at Camden Yards," the AP is reporting.
A separate grand jury in Washington is still investigating whether Abramoff and a lobbying partner bilked Indian tribes out of millions of dollars in the course of working on their behalf. As the AP notes, Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for George W. Bush's 2004 campaign and thousands of dollars more for Tom DeLay and other Republicans in Congress. In an unrelated but related action, the Federal Election Commission has just issued a report finding that DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee failed to report more than $300,000 in debts and inappropriately paid for some committee activities with money from another DeLay-connected political committee.
Update: Abramoff was indicted Thursday afternoon on five counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. He was arrested in Los Angeles.