"I see that my crimes all had the same cause -- my short-sighted and selfish view that the ends could justify the means," Abramoff added. "I am not a bad man (although to read all the news articles one would think I was Osama bin Laden), but I did many bad things."
Before the Justice Department's criminal investigation into Abramoff's lobbying activities, congressional investigators, led by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee chaired by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., examined Abramoff and congressional aide Michael Scanlon's dealing with the Choctaw Indian Tribe and its Washington lobbying efforts on gambling issues.
Abramoff and Scanlon bilked the tribes out of more than $19.5 million.
Scanlon entered a guilty plea to conspiracy charges in November 2005, and is awaiting sentencing.
As part of his plea deal, Scanlon is cooperating with the government investigation and admitted that he and Abramoff, named as "Lobbyist A" in his case's court documents, persuaded the tribes to pay them while never representing the tribes' interests.
Abramoff recommended the tribes hire Scanlon's public relations firm to provide support to their lobby efforts, but never told the tribes that he and Scanlon arranged to split their profits, a scheme they called, "Gimmie Five."
E-mails between Abramoff and Scanlon were key to the Justice and congressional investigations. In one exchange, Abramoff wrote to Scanlon, "We need to get some $ from those Monkeys!!!!... we'll get the Choctaw money soon enough."
ABC News' Theresa Cook contributed to this report.