Thursday, June 26, 2008

Prison term cut in half for Jack Abramoff associate

Jack Abramoff testifying before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

By Vanessa Blum South Florida Sun-Sentinel

2:23 PM EDT, June 25, 2008

A federal judge in Miami on Wednesday cut in half the prison term of a onetime business partner of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, rewarding him for cooperating with federal and state probes.

U.S. District Judge Paul Huck agreed to reduce Adam Kidan's 70-month sentence for fraud to 35 months based on requests from prosecutors . They said Kidan, 43, provided substantial assistance to officials investigating the 2001 slaying of Fort Lauderdale entrepreneur Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis and other criminal matters.

Brian Cavanagh, the prosecutor in charge of Broward County's homicide unit, said Kidan provided "a detailed explanation" of his knowledge of the Boulis killing.

Kidan is expected to testify at the trial of Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, who could face the death penalty if convicted of Boulis' murder. All three pleaded not guilty.

After Kidan gave a deposition in November 2007, three men assaulted Kidan in a prison bathroom, said his attorney, Jonathan Rosenthal.

"There was a perceived threat," Rosenthal said.

Federal prosecutors said Kidan was particularly helpful with the federal fraud case against Abramoff.

Kidan and Abramoff were co-defendants in a fraud case stemming from their purchase of Dania Beach-based SunCruz Casinos from Boulis in 2000. Both pleaded guilty to creating phony financial records to convince lenders to back their bid for the gambling cruise line and received 70-month sentences.

Federal prosecutor Lawrence LaVecchio said Kidan alerted prosecutors in 2003 to e-mails implicating Abramoff, which prosecutors said warranted a reduction of one-third.

"If it were not for Mr. Kidan's cooperation, we very well might not have had sufficient evidence to charge Mr. Abramoff," LaVecchio said.

With the reduction, Kidan has 15 months remaining on his sentence at the federal penitentiary in Lisbon, Ohio. Kidan's original release date was Dec. 14, 2011.

The SunCruz case and the Boulis case intersect because Kidan and Boulis were fighting for control of the cruise line when Boulis was killed. Kidan has denied any involvement in the hit and says two men charged in the case confessed they were behind it.

Cavanagh, who said Kidan's information filled in gaps in the government's case, told Huck he has concerns for Kidan's safety.

"I'm worried because we need him as a witness," he said. "I admire his courage."

Vanessa Blum can be reached at or 954-356-4605.

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