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From 2001 to 2003, the indictment alleges, Guam Superior Court official Anthony P. Sanchez funneled $324,000 in public funds to Abramoff and Greenberg Traurig in a series of $9,000 checks, disguised as payments to a third party. The court reportedly wanted Abramoff to keep it from becoming subject to rulings by the Guam Supreme Court. Abramoff agreed to represent the court at a meeting at his Washington, D.C. restaurant, Signatures, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The payments, which were publicly reported in U.S. papers in 2005, had formed the basis of a 2002 investigation by the U.S. attorney for the region at the time, Frederick Black.
On Nov. 19, 2002, Black obtained a grand jury subpoena to force Sanchez to release records about the payments. The next day the White House announced it was replacing Black, who had served in an acting capacity for 10 years, with a permanent U.S. attorney. The investigation ended without indictments.