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Jack Abramoff returns to prison over crypto case

Abramoff has been charged with criminal conspiracy related to crypto and lobbying disclosure

Jack Abramoff, a former Washington insider who was previously sent to prison over a lobbying scandal, has been charged with a criminal conspiracy related to cryptocurrency and lobbying disclosure.

US Attorney, David Anderson, revealed in a press conference in San Francisco last Thursday that Abramoff agreed to plead guilty and now faces five years in prison.

In a separate lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Abramoff committed the alleged fraud by promoting a digital token based on the blockchain called the AML BitCoin, via the NAC Foundation. Anderson has revealed that Rowland Marcus Andrade, the founder of the company, is also currently facing criminal charges.

According to the SEC’s complaint against Abramoff, the two men claimed that BitCoin AML’s security was better than Bitcoin’s because it had encoded security features, including those that prevented money laundering. The pair raised at least $5.6 million from over 2,400 investors — mostly based in the US — from August 2017 to December 2018.

The SEC revealed that the security features Ambramoff and Andrade had promoted intensively were, in reality, still early in development and needed additional funds to be integrated into the new token.

The SEC suit explains that the two “deceived investors by, among other things, making false and misleading statements in press releases, social-media outlets, and other promotional materials regarding the status of the technology and governmental agencies’ interest in using AML BitCoin in their payment systems.”

This is not Abramoff’s first run-in with controversy. Three years earlier, a reality TV series entitled “Capitol Makeover: Britain Brigade” featured Abramoff leading a group from AML BitCoin in a “boot camp” of sorts that will change the members “from techies to lobbyists ready to take on Capitol Hill.”

In the early 2000s, Abramoff was a key actor in a scandal that led to 20 convictions. The convictions included two officials in President George W Bush’s administration, congressional aides, a member of Congress and nine other lobbyists. Abramoff spent 43 months in prison before he was released in 2010.

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