Jewish lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to four years in prison.
Abramoff had pleaded guilty to corruption and tax offenses related to influence peddling of Republican congressmen and midlevel Bush administration officials, some of whom were convicted.
The prosecution noted Abramoff’s cooperation in helping to build cases against some 10 other officials in recommending that he be given a reduced term, largely to motivate others to cooperate with investigators.
But on Thursday, Judge Ellen Huvelle of the U.S. District Court in Washington sentenced Abramoff to nine months longer than the 39-month term suggested by prosecutors, citing the erosion of the public’s trust in government that Abramoff’s activities generated.
Wearing a yarmulke, Abramoff offered a wrenching apology to the court, saying, “I have fallen into an abyss,” according to the reports. “My name is the butt of a joke.”
Abramoff already is in prison serving a two-year term in an unrelated fraud case.