WASHINGTON – Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's former partner in crime is appealing his prison sentence because he believes a Supreme Court ruling ought to cut his penalty.
Michael Scanlon was sentenced two weeks ago to serve 20 months in prison and pay $20 million in restitution for a scheme in which he and Abramoff defrauded Indian tribe clients. Abramoff persuaded the tribes that hired him for lobbying to pay inflated fees for Scanlon's public relations services, and Scanlon secretly kicked back half the profits to Abramoff.
Scanlon had pleaded guilty in part to defrauding the tribal clients of their right to "honest services." The Supreme Court weakened the honest services law last June, but U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled Scanlon could not change his plea to reflect the high court's decision.