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Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleads guilty in fraud case involving a cryptocurrency called AML Bitcoin

Aislinn Keely

Lobbyist and businessman Jack Abramoff faces possible prison time yet again, this time in a case related to cryptocurrency and lobbying disclosure.

Abramoff has pled guilty to charges pursued by San Francisco's U.S. Attorney, which could result in a jail sentence as long as five years. Abramoff separately settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a case related to an unregistered digital securities offer.

Bloomberg first reported the case brought by San Francisco U.S. Attorney David Anderson. Anderson disclosed that Abramoff agreed to plead guilty to charges of criminal conspiracy at a press conference. According to an SEC statement, the office charged Abramoff with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and lobbying disclosure violations.

The SEC separately charged Abramoff in a case related to a cryptocurrency known as AML Bitcoin. Abramoff, the NAC Foundation and its CEO, Roland Marcus Andrade, face allegations of conducting an unregistered security offering of AML BitCoin. Abramoff allegedly assisted the NAC Foundation in falsely portraying the token as an improved version of bitcoin with supposedly additional anti-money laundering and other compliance measures integrated into the coin. The SEC claimed that none of these capabilities existed at the time investors bought the tokens.

Abramoff has agreed to a $50,000 disgorgement of the commissions he made with $5,501 in interest. He also agreed to a settlement that includes "permanent and conduct-based injunctions." The case against Andrade continues, and Bloomberg reported that Andrade will plead not guilty, citing Anderson.

Abramoff previously served more than three years in prison for his involvement in a high-profile corruption case in the early 2000s, when he was sentenced to six years for mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials and tax evasion. 


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