WASHINGTON Rep. Bob Ney agreed today to plead guilty to federal criminal charges he made false statements and conspired to commit fraud and violate federal lobbying laws in the congressional corruption probe spawned by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Ney, R-Ohio, had defiantly denied the charges for months. Now he faces up to 10 years in prison. The Justice Department said prosecutors will recommend that he serve 27 months based on federal sentencing guidelines. Ney became the first lawmaker to admit wrongdoing in the election-year investigation.
Ney agreed to plead guilty to making false statements and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, make false statements and violate post-employment restrictions for former congressional staff members.
Ney signed the plea agreement Wednesday, but it was not approved by the Justice Department or filed with the U.S. court until today.
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