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Ex-Abramoff Associate Is Fighting Restitution Order
Posted By David Stout On March 15, 2011 @ 1:48 pm In News | Comments Disabled
Michael Scanlon, a former associate of one-time lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is fighting attempts by Greenberg Traurig  to collect tens of millions of dollars to cover the firm’s losses in making restitution to a group of Indian tribes defrauded by Abramoff.
Scanlon’s lawyers filed a motion  in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking that, as a preliminary measure, Scanlon be allowed to object to an order by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle that he be forced to pay Greenberg Traurig, for which Abramoff worked before he was brought down in a far-reaching influence-peddling scandal involving several members of Congress.
Even if Scanlon’s lawyers should prevail on their objection, they would still have to show that Greenberg Traurig is liable in the case, and therefore blocked from receiving restitution, according to  the Blog of Legal Times, which reported on the objection.
Last month, Huvelle sentenced Scanlon to 20 months in prison and ordered him to pay restitution to Greenberg Traurig — unless he can show that the firm is not entitled to compensation because it should be held liable in connection with the same conduct to which Scanlon pleaded guilty. (Scanlon admitted conspiring to bribe public officials and committing honest-services fraud.)
Earlier, Scanlon’s lawyers argued unsuccessfully that he should be spared prison time because of his cooperation with prosecutors. Former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), once the House majority leader, was among the once-powerful people who were tarnished in the episode. Scanlon once worked as an aide to DeLay, convicted recently in Texas of money-laundering.
In the dispute over restitution, Greenberg Traurig is represented by Williams & Connolly LLP . Scanlon’s lawyer Stephen Braga of Ropes & Gray LLP  says the issue raised in the restitution case is a novel one, according to the BLT.
The judge who will hear the dispute has not yet been chosen. It will not be Huvelle, who does not take part in cases involving Williams & Connolly, where she was once a partner.
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