Embattled Abramoff Associate Lobs Charges of His Own at Ex

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

While he awaits sentencing for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal, Michael Scanlon is fighting another court battle -- on the home front.

In papers filed in Montgomery County last fall, the former Tom DeLay staffer-turned-mega-lobbyist is suing his ex-wife for $2 million plus all the money in their son's educational trust, claiming she and her new husband spent funds meant for the 8-year-old boy.

In his suit (which he amended last week to include a conspiracy charge), Scanlon claims his ex, Carrie Anne Liipfert Messina, now living in Los Angeles, had him wire money to what was supposed to be a segregated fund but proved to be a joint account with her husband, Matthew Messina. Scanlon claims they withdrew money meant for young John Patrick's education to buy a condo at the Mammoth Lakes ski resort, timeshares in Orlando and Mexico, and concert tickets.

Intriguingly, Scanlon also claims that his ex-wife broke a 2003 "confidential agreement" the two reached on child support by sharing info about Scanlon's finances with unnamed "third parties." But what she allegedly disclosed, and to whom, is unclear: Messina's response and countersuit -- which court records indicate involve "breach of contract" claims, the same as he makes against her -- have been placed under seal.

So it's unclear whether any of this is entangled in the Abramoff fraud/public corruption mess. While an ex-fiancee of Scanlon's reportedly helped federal prosecutors build a case against him, some observers of the case doubt there would have been much incentive for Messina to leak to investigators. Both Scanlon's attorney and Messina's declined comment.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

  • Jake Shears, lead singer of Scissor Sisters, dropping by Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in upper Northwest Sunday evening before his 9:30 club show. The disco revivalist was approached by a couple of brave Georgetown Day students raising money for a health clinic in Kenya; they say he showed interest but not whether he opened his wallet.
  • Jamie Salé and David Pelletier in the stands as the Caps played Tampa Bay Thursday. Remember them? Cute Canadian figure skaters who won Olympic gold in 2002 after that messy Russian judging controversy? Well, now they're married, and while on a tour break stayed in NoVa for a few days with homegrown ice royalty Michael Weiss.
  • John Lithgow dining with three others at Asia Nora Friday night, ahead of his Sunday gig narrating some NSO shows at the Ken Cen. The actor appeared to enjoy the fried oyster and duck appetizer.
  • UPDATE

    The Courage Cup polo war is heating up. Over the weekend, founder Greg Ball sent an e-mail to thousands of local fans advertising a charity polo match he calls the Courage Cup at Leesburg's Morven Park on May 12. But not so fast! Three directors of the group once allied with Ball quickly responded with an e-mail saying the official Courage Cup is slated for June 16 at Great Meadow Polo Club near Middleburg.

    Since Ball left D.C. to become a New York state legislator, he and the new board have fought each other with dueling Web sites and bitter e-mails. Ball now contends that his cup is taking place in conjunction with America's Cup of Polo (England vs. United States). No way, said Charlie Muldoon, director of polo for the May 12 event.

    Meanwhile, the chances of a friendly resolution are shrinking by the day. The new directors have washed their hands of Ball, saying in an open letter: "We will have nothing further to do with this person or his imaginary polo activity, either collectively or individually." In a letter on his Web site, Ball shot back, denouncing the "unauthorized and renegade outfit." Remember when polo was civilized?

    THIS JUST IN . . .

  • In a rare foray out of the White House, George and Laura Bush had Sunday night supper at the Palisades home of Karl and Darby Rove. The presidential adviser took pity on the press outside in vans and sent out sausage and . . . quail wings? Sounds like something John Kerry would serve.
  • A federal judge yesterday sentenced classical oboist H. David Meyers to a year and a day in prison for money laundering and running an illegal sports-betting operation in Montgomery County, a sentence his attorneys warned could be fatal to his musical career. Prison authorities will decide whether he can play and practice in the slammer. With good behavior, the 61-year-old could be out in nine months.
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