Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2008/11/21 16:17
A former legislative aide to two Missouri Republicans, Sen. Kit Bond and Rep. Roy Blunt, pleaded guilty Thursday to hiding thousands of dollars of gifts from lobbyists, the latest political figure to go down in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.
Trevor L. Blackann, 34, pleaded guilty in federal court to not reporting more than $4,100 in illegal gifts from lobbyists on his 2003 tax forms, including tickets to the World Series, concerts and sporting events, free airfare and transportation, free meals and gifts and entertainment at a "gentleman's club."
The guilty plea came in U.S. District Court before Judge Richard W. Roberts.
In court documents, Blackann said two unnamed lobbyists worked directly with Abramoff, who has been sent to prison for corrupting Capitol Hill lawmakers with expensive meals, golf junkets, luxury sports tickets and other gifts. These lobbyists gave him the World Series tickets, among other items.
Abramoff is now helping prosecutors go after other people he bribed. With his help, the Justice Department has won convictions against former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and several top Capitol Hill aides.
Blackann said he pushed for a political appointment at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as "official action beneficial" to Equipment Rental Co., a construction rental company. Blackann worked for Blunt from 1998 to 2001 and for Bond from 2001 to 2005.
Blackann said in court documents he knew "the lobbyists gave these things of value for or because of official actions they were seeking from him or had obtained from him."