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The Timeline

The Washington Post
Sunday, May 1, 2005

2000

February: Boulis enters serious negotiations to sell SunCruz Casinos to Abramoff and Kidan. SunCruz has 11 boats that run daily offshore gambling cruises.

May: Abramoff, DeLay and Rudy are among those on 10-day trip to Britain and Scotland, which includes golf at renowned St. Andrews course.

June 9: DeLay's office gives a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol to Boulis.

June 15: SunCruz jet flies a group from D.C. to U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in California. They include Abramoff, Kidan, Rudy and SunCruz executive Joan Wagner and her husband. A week later, Boulis agrees to sell SunCruz to Abramoff and Kidan for $145 million.

Sept. 18: SunCruz principals meet in New York to begin closing the deal. That same night, Kidan and his lead financier, Greg Walker of Foothill Capital Corp., travel to D.C. to join DeLay and Abramoff for a DeLay event in the lobbyist's box during a Redskins-Cowboys game.

Sept. 26: Terms of SunCruz sale finalized at $147.5 million. Boulis retains 10 percent stake. Abramoff and Kidan agree to put in $23 million cash; obtain a $60 million loan from Foothill Capital and another lender, Citadel Equity Fund; and to owe balance to Boulis.

Sept. 27: Kidan and partner Waldman each fax to lender a document showing that Kidan wired the $23 million to Boulis's bank. The wire transfer later will be at the center of a criminal inquiry, when lenders allege that the document was forged and the deal fraudulent because no money changed hands.

Oct. 26: Ney praises Kidan in the Congressional Record, saying "he will easily transform SunCruz from a questionable enterprise to an upstanding establishment."

Dec. 5: Boulis and Kidan come to blows at a business meeting. Kidan reneges on debt to Boulis, saying that Boulis hid problems at SunCruz. Kidan says Boulis attacked and threatened to kill him; he obtains restraining order against Boulis. Abramoff agrees with Kidan in subsequent e-mail messages that Boulis should be removed from SunCruz.

Dec. 13: Payments totaling $145,000 begin from SunCruz to Kidan's associate, Anthony Moscatiello, and his daughter, for food and beverage consulting and other services. Moscatiello has been identified by law enforcement as an associate of the Gambino crime family.

2001

Tony Rudy goes to work with Abramoff at Washington law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Jan. 19: Boulis seeks injunction against Kidan that would require him to pay what he owes Boulis and prevent him from operating the boats.

Jan. 20: George W. Bush sworn in as president. Kidan and Scanlon, a former DeLay aide and Abramoff associate who now is doing work for SunCruz, attend an Inauguration Day reception in DeLay's office.

Jan. 28: SunCruz leases corporate jet to take Capitol Hill staffers, including current and former aides to DeLay and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), to Super Bowl in Tampa and for a night of gambling aboard SunCruz ship.

Feb. 6: Boulis shot and killed in a gangland-style attack while driving from his office in Fort Lauderdale.

March 15: At fundraiser for Ney at MCI Center, Abramoff, Kidan and three other SunCruz executives each contribute $1,000.

June 22: SunCruz files for bankruptcy protection. Within two weeks, Kidan, Abramoff and Boulis estate reach settlement. Lenders later allege settlement aimed to conceal the fraud in the sale of the company.

2002

August: Abramoff takes Ney and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, among others, on chartered flight to Scotland, where some golf on the St. Andrews course.

November: U.S. attorney in Florida begins criminal inquiry of SunCruz sale, focusing on the missing $23 million.

2003

April 2: U.S. Court of Appeals throws out 2001 bankruptcy settlement between the Boulis estate, Kidan and Abramoff, saying it was full of conflicts of interest.

May 30: SunCruz lenders Foothill Capital and Citadel Equity Fund sue to recover $60 million in loans to Kidan and Abramoff, alleging that the buyers never put up the cash they had promised to inject into the deal.

Sept. 21: The Daily Town Talk newspaper in Alexandria, La., reports that an internal audit by the Louisiana Coushatta tribe showed that the tribe had spent $18 million in one year on lobbyists and lawyers, mostly to Scanlon and Abramoff.

2004

Feb. 20: SunCruz assets are auctioned by bankruptcy court for $35 million to a group that includes Boulis's nephew, Spiros Naos.

Feb. 22: The Washington Post reports that Abramoff and Scanlon have received at least $45 million from Indian tribes that operate casinos. Days later, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) launches an investigation. In coming months, the FBI and other federal investigators form a task force and convene a grand jury to examine the payments, as well as Abramoff's and Scanlon's contacts with lawmakers.

March 2: Abramoff leaves Greenberg Traurig. In statement, firm says Abramoff "disclosed to the firm for the first time personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm."

Aug. 16: Abramoff lawyer Neal Sonnett confirms in a Florida court pleading that his client "is a target" of the criminal inquiry into the SunCruz sale.

2000
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