Arrests in Mafia-style killing: An Abramoff link?

Two men charged in the murder of a Florida businessman reportedly received payments from the casino business owned by the Republican lobbyist and his business partner.

Published September 27, 2005 3:36PM (EDT)

Two men were arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in connection with the 2001 Mafia-style killing of Gus Boulis, the Associated Press is reporting.

Boulis was murdered while in the midst of a business dispute involving indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the names of the two men arrested Monday -- Anthony Moscatiello, 67, and Anthony Ferrari, 46 -- may be familiar to anyone following the Abramoff scandal.

Shortly after Abramoff and his business partner, Adam Kidan, bought SunCruz Casinos from Boulis, Kidan hired Moscatiello to work as a food-and-beverage consultant for SunCruz, according to a May 2005 report in the Washington Post. The Post report said that SunCruz made three payments totaling $145,000 to Moscatiello, his daughter and a business the Moscatiello family ran. According to the Post, Kidan claimed later that the payments were for catering, consulting and "site inspections." "However," the paper said, "there is no evidence that any food or drink was provided or consulting documents prepared."

According to the Miami Herald, Kidan paid Ferrari more than $100,000, ostensibly for security for SunCruz.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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