Occasionally, police will rely on a fraud suspect’s cooperation when investigating an alleged criminal scheme. Sometimes, this cooperation will result in the suspect in question being given leniency in his or her case. This can be seen in the results of a recent sentencing hearing involving a man who was accused of being involved in a fraud scheme that was connected to a public corruption scandal.

The case involves a 40-year-old man who used to work as a communications director for Tom Delay. The man allegedly was part of a multimillion dollar kickback scheme which defrauded five Native American tribes. This scheme was reportedly connected to the public corruption scandal involving Jack Abramoff. Abramoff has been accused of orchestrating a variety of corrupt schemes involving lobbyists and public officials from 2000 to 2005.

The man faced charges for bribery and fraud in connection to the kickback scheme. In 2005, he pled guilty to these charges. He then began cooperating with government authorities. Authorities have stated that the man’s cooperation helped them considerably in their investigations of the other individuals who were connected to the Abramoff scandal. Altogether, 21 people have been charged and convicted in relation to this corruption scandal.

Last Thursday, the man received his sentence for the charges he pled guilty to. He could have received up to five years in prison for these charges, but he was given a more lenient sentence. Specifically, he was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison. The man’s cooperation was reportedly a factor in the judge’s sentencing decision.

Consequently, this case demonstrates how government authorities will sometimes use and encourage suspect cooperation in white collar crime cases.

Source: The Washington Post, “DeLay aide sentenced to 20 months in Abramoff lobbying scandal,” Spencer S. Hsu, 12 Feb 2011

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