One aspect of the Abramoff scandal that’s not getting much attention in the media, at least that I’ve seen, is his proximity to an apparent gangland murder:

While Abramoff’s influence-buying schemes are likely to entangle prominent politicians in bribery cases in Washington, the Fort Lauderdale murder-corruption case surrounding the SunCruz casino stands out as possibly the biggest embarrassment for the Republican power structure, since it may feature appearances by Abramoff and his onetime aide Michael Scanlon.

Fort Lauderdale homicide detectives are interested in questioning Abramoff about the 2001 murder of SunCruz casino owner Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis. Prosecutor Brian Cavanaugh told me he most certainly “will be spending time with Mr. Scanlon.”

Boulis was gunned down in his car on Feb. 6, 2001, amid a feud with an Abramoff business group that had purchased Boulis’s SunCruz casino cruise line in 2000. On Sept. 27, 2005, Fort Lauderdale police charged three men, including reputed Gambino crime family bookkeeper Anthony Moscatiello, with Boulis’s murder.

As part of the murder probe, police are investigating payments that SunCruz made to Moscatiello, his daughter and Anthony Ferrari, another defendant in the Boulis murder case. Moscatiello and Ferrari allegedly collaborated with a third man, James Fiorillo, in the slaying.

I’m sure he was in plenty of trouble anyway, but I can’t help but wonder if this figured into the plea deal at all.

Related cartoon (from October) here.