A federal judge refused Monday to order a 90-day delay in the sentencing of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, even though prosecutors and his attorney said the move could jeopardize a federal corruption investigation involving Congress and the Bush administration.
Abramoff attorney Abbe Lowell told U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck that without the postponement the defense could be forced to reveal sensitive information at the sentencing hearing in Miami federal court.
"We will name names. We will provide the public with evidence of what is going on out there," Lowell said by telephone at a court hearing in Miami. "It seems to me that is not in the interest of law enforcement."
Abramoff pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to charges that he and co-defendant Adam R. Kidan fraudulently obtained $60 million in loans to buy the SunCruz Casinos gambling cruise line in 2000 from Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis. Kidan pleaded guilty late last year. Abramoff also pleaded guilty in January to charges of fraud and tax evasion related to his dealings with Congress.
As part of his plea agreement with the government, Abramoff must work with federal agents investigating possible corruption on Capitol Hill.
Prosecutors had supported the request for a sentencing delay because the defendants are involved in meetings in Florida and Washington and must personally be available to review complex documents.
Lowell said he would divulge information supplied by Abramoff in order to demonstrate the extent of his client's cooperation, something that could have an effect on Abramoff's sentence.
The judge agreed to delay sentencing from March 16 to March 29, but no longer.
"I just don't want to get involved in a situation where it just goes on and on and on," Huck said. "I don't see any reason for postponing the sentencing."
Huck said the government could always request a reduction in Abramoff's sentence later and that he probably would allow Abramoff and Kidan to remain free for a reasonable amount of time after sentencing.
Lawyers on both sides told Huck that sentencing Abramoff and Kidan while they were assisting prosecutors could jeopardize pending federal probes.
Prosecutors also said they could not easily recommend a sentence for the men without seeing how helpful they were.