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The firm made more than $16.4 million in lobbying income in 2007, according to Senate records, and was the go-to lobbyist for contractors who wanted earmarks or tax dollars that members of Congress set aside in the appropriations bills for specific pet projects.

U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said the sentence showed that “no one — despite wealth and influence — is above the law.”

“Today’s sentence should be anyone on notice that if you seek to gain the influence of elected public officials through skirting the campaign finance laws you’ll not merely be exposed publicly but you’ll go to prison,” he said.

Magliocchetti told Judge Ellis in his statement that from 2003 he had given more than $1 million in charitable donations to worthy nonprofits.

“It breaks my heart that I can’t do this anymore,” he said.

The Washington Times reported Friday that the donations also included hundreds of thousands of dollars to the pet charities of members of Congress, some of whom were crucial to Magliocchetti’s once-booming lobbying business.

“You’ve done a lot of charitable work — maybe some of it for other reasons than pure charity,” Judge Ellis said, who appeared to smile slightly but also acknowledged Magliocchetti’s philanthropy.

“All the good things you have done in your life are not erased,” he later said.

Magliocchetti’s son, Mark Magliocchetti, was also indicted and cooperated in the federal investigation of his father. He was sentenced in November to two years of supervised probation for his role in the scheme.

“I hope you make up with your son,” Judge Ellis said at the close of the hearing.