Republican activist expected to plead guilty to tax charges

June 07, 2007|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- The founder of a Republican environmental organization was charged yesterday with tax evasion and obstruction of justice as part of the federal criminal investigation into lobbying practices in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Italia Federici, president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, allegedly failed to pay more than $77,000 in federal income taxes from 2001 to 2003 and made "false and fictitious" statements before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2005, as it probed Abramoff's lobbying for Native American tribes.

The Justice Department declined to discuss the matter further; a hearing on the case has been set for tomorrow.

Federici's lawyers said she would plead guilty to both charges.

Federal investigators have alleged that Federici was a liaison between Abramoff and the Interior Department in helping tribes obtain meetings with top government officials in return for high fees charged by the lobbyist, now serving a nearly six-year prison term.

Los Angeles Times

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