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Lawyers: Abramoff Family In Poverty, Needs Tax Refund
Posted By Andrew Ramonas On June 3, 2009 @ 1:02 pm In News | Comments Disabled
The wife and five children of imprisoned former lobbyist Jack Abramoff are living “just above the poverty line” and need access to a tax refund of more than $500,000 to pay off debts and help make ends meet, Abramoff attorneys told U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in a filing yesterday, The Washington Post reported  today.
Last month, the Justice Department took away his access to the funds that he was using to pay off the millions of dollars of his debt, The Post said. He has already used a “significant chunk” to help pay off bills including those from his attorneys and accountants, The Post said. He also used the funds to help repay loans he used to finance his stay in a federal prison in the Cumberland, Md. and help support his family which is now living on his wife’s salary of $38,000 a year, according to The Post.
Abramoff’s lead attorney, Abbe D. Lowell of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, said the Justice Department was aware of Abramoff’s financial situation when he negotiated a plea deal in 2006 and it even helped process his tax refund, according to The Post.
“It could not have come as any surprise to DOJ that Mr. Abramoff would be receiving a tax refund DOJ officials repeatedly helped facilitate,” Lowell said in his court filing.
Last year, Huvelle sentenced Abramoff to a four year prison term for defrauding tribal clients. He was already serving a 5 year term for a prior conviction for fraud.
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