- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

MIAMI (AP) — Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, accused of federal fraud charges in a casino deal, is willing to be interviewed by police trying to solve the gangland-style killing of the businessman who sold the floating casinos, his lawyer said yesterday.

Mr. Abramoff, whose lobbying activities are under investigation in Washington, had expected to meet with Fort Lauderdale, Fla., homicide detectives shortly after the February 2001 slaying of Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis, but the interview never took place, attorney Neal Sonnett said.

Now the detectives are expressing new interest in talking with Mr. Abramoff, which Mr. Sonnett said he would arrange.

“He’s always been willing to cooperate,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Sonnett said he was unaware of any information that Mr. Abramoff might have about the killing. Fort Lauderdale police did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.

Mr. Abramoff, 46, and Adam Kidan, 41, are charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in the September 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos from Mr. Boulis. Prosecutors say the pair concocted a fake $23 million wire transfer to make it appear to lenders as if they were putting a sizable stake of their own money into the deal.

Both have denied wrongdoing. Mr. Kidan pleaded not guilty last week. Mr. Abramoff is due in court Aug. 29 to enter his plea. Both are free on bail.

Police interviewed Mr. Kidan about the Boulis killing in 2001, said his attorney, Martin Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe would not comment on the specifics of the interview.

The SunCruz fleet of 11 ships, equipped with slot machines and gaming tables, sails to international water from ports in Florida and South Carolina.

A few months after the $147.5 million sale of SunCruz, Mr. Boulis was fatally shot after his car was blocked by other vehicles and an assailant pulled up alongside.

The killing happened after weeks of acrimony stemming from the sale, including a physical altercation between Mr. Kidan and Mr. Boulis, who also founded the Miami Subs fast-food chain.

In Washington, Mr. Abramoff is under investigation by a federal grand jury and by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee for deals in which he and an associate received at least $66 million from six Indian tribes to lobby for their casinos and other interests.

The tribes question whether the charges were excessive.

Congressional Democrats have raised questions about Mr. Abramoff’s ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican.

The congressman has asked the House ethics committee to review accusations that Mr. Abramoff or his clients paid some of Mr. DeLay’s overseas travel expenses. The majority leader has denied knowing that the expenses were paid by Mr. Abramoff.

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