In 2000, Abramoff and his longtime friend Adam Kidan, ran into trouble in their attempt to buy the Suncruz Casino ships from Gus Boulis, a Greek immigrant who had become a wealthy businessman. Twice that year, Ney inserted language into the Congressional Record, first criticizing Boulis as a "bad apple," then praising Kidan, "as a solid individual" in an apparent effort to influence the deal. Kidan and Abramoff have since been indicted for fraud in connection with the financing.
"I think it is not far-fetched to imagine that we could see a large number of indictments, several members of Congress, plenty of staffers from Capitol Hill who benefited from the largess and may have given official help in return, and people from the administration," said Norman Ornstein, the American Enterprise Institute scholar. "Everybody who Ambramoff touched may end up, at a minimum, stained out of this and some of them are going to end up with a permanent stain and wearing stripes."
In fact, Abramoff has weaved a tangled web of money and influence in Washington. The Associated Press had added up more than $800,000 in contributions to at least 33 members of Congress -- Republicans and Democrats alike. And Bob Ney, the "mayor of Capitol Hill" may not be the only congressman touched by this developing scandal. But he has the dubious distinction of being the first.