What Abramoff’s prosecution means for K Street
(Source: politico.com)

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(Original link: politico.com)

With Daniel Lippman WHAT ABRAMOFF’S PROSECUTION MEANS FOR K STREET: “The Justice Department is prosecuting the legendary lobbyist Jack Abramoff on felony conspiracy charges. Again. More than 14 years after he pleaded guilty in the biggest Washington lobbying scandal in a generation, Abramoff has agreed to enter guilty pleas on charges of criminal conspiracy and failing to register as a lobbyist for his role in two separate schemes, according to the Justice Department.” In the first, he allegedly failed to register as a lobbyist in work for a California marijuana company and again after being hired by an FBI undercover agent posing as a businessperson. In the second, he and another man criminally misrepresented a cryptocurrency called AML Bitcoin, according to prosecutors.
— Abramoff’s prosecution is a watershed moment for K Street: “It appears to be the first time the Justice Department has filed criminal charges under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.” Robert Kelner , a Covington & Burling lawyer “who advises clients on lobbying laws, said it was tough to say whether Abramoff's prosecution was an exceptional case or whether ‘this is the first shot in a new and unprecedented effort to actually enforce the largely unenforced Lobbying Disclosure Act.’ ‘The fact that it involves probably the most infamous lobbyist of all time, Jack Abramoff, makes it that much more sensational,’ he added.”
— While the DOJ has stepped up prosecutions of unregistered lobbying under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in recent years, prosecutors haven’t gone after violators of the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which governs domestic lobbying. Thomas Spulak of King & Spalding , “another lawyer who advises clients on lobbying laws, said the case appeared to signal a new aggressiveness on the part of prosecutors. No one ‘should think simply because Jack Abramoff is in a class by himself, this is a one-time shot,’ Spulak wrote in an email to POLITICO. ‘There will be more.’”
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