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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Top US lobbyist accused of fraud
Jack Abramoff listening to his attorney during a Congress hearing in 2004
Jack Abramoff is accused over a business deal in 2000
Prominent US lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been charged with fraud and conspiracy in a deal to buy a casino firm in 2000.

Mr Abramoff and a partner are accused of forging wire transfers worth $23m (13m) - the equity put up for the purchase of the Florida firm SunCruz.

Mr Abramoff, 46, and associate Adam Kidan, 36, charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

Both deny all the charges against them. Each count carries a penalty of up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

The two men were indicted by a grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday.

Court appearance

Mr Abramoff has been taken into custody in California and is set to appear before a federal court in Los Angeles on Friday.

The two men bought SunCruz from Fort Lauderdale-based entrepreneur Konstatinos Boulis in 2000.

He was later shot dead, in a murder that has never been solved.

Mr Abramoff has raised thousands of dollars for the Republican Party.

He is facing inquiries into other aspects of his lobbying work.

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