U.S. says lobbyist Abramoff to plead guilty in connection with bitcoin offering

(Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Thursday that lobbyist Jack Abramoff – who once served four years in prison for bribing U.S. officials and became synonymous with government corruption – has agreed to plead guilty to violating a federal lobbying disclosure law in connection with an alleged fraudulent offering of the cryptocurrency AML Bitcoin.

Abramoff and Rowland Marcus Andrade, the chief executive of NAC Foundation, were accused of conspiring to make false and misleading statements to potential purchasers of the cryptocurrency. Andrade was also criminally charged in connection with the offering.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday announced parallel charges against NAC, Andrade and Abramoff. Abramoff also agreed to a settlement with the SEC.

Lawyers for Abramoff did not immediately respond to requests for comment. NAC’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a similar request. A lawyer for Andrade could not immediately be identified.

Abramoff returned to lobbying in 2017 (here) when he tried unsuccessfully to set up a meeting and phone call between Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso and then-President-elect Donald Trump, according to a public filing at the time.

In 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to felony counts of conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion.

In addition to bribing government officials, Abramoff was accused of defrauding clients who were Native American tribes lobbying about reservation casinos. Abramoff was released from federal prison in 2010 and was then subject to three years on probation.

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