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Texas Tribe Gambling Law Suit

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A state of Texas Indian tribe submitted a US civil lawsuit alleging that ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, and their gambling blackmailing associates engaged in fraud and racketeering to shut down a betting casino.

"Ultimately, the greed and corruption led to the Alabama-Coushatta tribe permanently shutting its gambling casino. The funding for economic programs evaporated, over 300 jobs were lost in Polk County and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe has spent years struggling to recover and revitalize its economy through other means," the tribe said in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit also names Abramoff's ex business partner Michael Scanlon, a former aid to former Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Neil Volz, a former aide to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio; and Jon Van Horne, Abramoff's former colleague at his law and lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig.

Although the tribe alleges Greenberg Traurig was part of the scheme, it did not name the firm as a defendant. Attorney Fred Petti said the tribe is in settlement discussions with the firm.

The tribe did not specify the amount it was seeking, but asked for 3 times the damages. Abramoff, Scanlon and Volz have pleaded guilty in a public corruption probe involving Abramoff's former tribal clients and possibly members of Congress.

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