WASHINGTON – A timeline of key events in the Jack Abramoff investigation:
— Abramoff and associate Adam Kidan purchase the SunCruz Casinos fleet of gambling boats.
— Abramoff donates more than $100,000 to President Bush's re-election campaign.
— Sept. 29: Abramoff refuses to answer questions from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee about his lobbying work on behalf of American Indian tribes and casino issues. The Senate committee's staff concluded after a seven-month investigation that Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, had charged six tribes in six states at least $66 million for the lobbying and may have manipulated at least two tribal elections to ensure they would get contracts with tribes.
— Aug. 11: Abramoff and Kidan indicted by a Miami federal grand jury on fraud charges in the 2000 casino boat deal. Federal prosecutors say the pair faked a $23 million wire transfer to make it appear that they were making a significant contribution of their own money into the deal. Based on that transfer, lenders Foothill Capital Corp. and Citadel Equity Fund Ltd. agreed to provide $60 million in financing for the purchase.
— Aug. 29: Abramoff pleads innocent to Miami fraud charges.
— Oct. 5: David Safavian, former chief of staff of the General Services Administration, is indicted on charges he made false statements and obstructed a federal investigation into his dealings with Abramoff.
— Nov. 21: Scanlon pleads guilty in Washington to conspiring to bribe public officials in connection with his lobbying work on behalf of Indian tribes and casino issues.
— Dec. 15: Kidan pleads guilty in Miami to fraud and conspiracy charges.
— Dec. 13-22: Six members of Congress — Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla.; Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.; and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. — return or give away campaign donations they received from Abramoff and his associates.
— Jan. 3: Abramoff pleads guilty in Washington to mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion charges in federal court in connection with his lobbying work. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announces he will give money received from Abramoff to charity.
— Jan. 4: Abramoff pleads guilty in Miami to conspiracy and wire fraud charges in relation to the 2000 SunCruz purchase. President George W. Bush, DeLay, Reps. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. and Bob Ney, R-Ohio and other lawmakers announce they will return or give money they received from Abramoff to charity.