Abramoff Sentenced to 5 Years, 10 months

Jack Abramoff caught a break today. The judge sentenced him to five years, ten months, the bottom of his guidelines. Adam Kidan received the same sentence. Both will remain free on bond.

The sentence will be concurrent with his Washington sentence, yet to be imposed. Abramoff will continue cooperating and a further reduction of the 70 month sentence is expected.

Bottom line: I don't think Abramoff will do more than three to four years. But, with a $21 million restitution order hanging over his head, he may never be a fat cat again. Great, great lawyering by Abbe Lowell and Neal Sonnett. More on that here.

Update: Washington Post coverage here. While the Post is correct that the guideline range in the Washington case is 9 1/2 to 11 years, that's before cooperation, and I'd expect Abramoff to get a 50% reduction. The plea agreement in that case is here. (pdf). I wrote here on the date he pleaded guilty in that case:

His guidelines come out at level 31 (108 to 135 months), including his three point reduction for acceptance of responsibility. For his cooperation, he will receive an as yet unspecified reduction. The Government is recommending that any sentence in the D.C. case be concurrent with the sentence he receives in Florida.

Assuming his guidelines in Florida are not higher than those in the D.C. case, it looks like Abramoff got a great deal. A cooperation reduction of between 25 and 50% is not unusual. Doing the math, he could come out with a sentence between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 years if the Government went with a 50% reduction.(edited to reflect 3 point reduction included in guideline computation)

I now think he will get a 50% reduction in the Washington case, and a further Rule 35 reduction in the Florida case so both come out to about or just under four years. It also could be months or more before he actually goes in. As long as he is cooperating actively, the Government will want him out of prison.

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