Alumnus tied to Abramoff scandal

One of the central figures in the Jack Abramoff scandal that has shaken Washington in recent months, Adam Kidan, is a GW alumnus.

The New York businessman attended GW as an undergraduate in the 1980s and, according to Newsday, became acquainted with Abramoff, who attended Georgetown Law School, through their involvement with the College Republicans.

Last month, both Kidan and Abramoff admitted to a Miami federal court that they used a fake wire transfer to secure $60 million in loans used to buy Florida-based SunCruz Casinos in 2001. Kidan pleaded guilty to two charges and will be sentenced March 1. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators examining Abramoff’s influence on Congress, and he also agreed to testify against Abramoff.

Kidan told Newsday last month, “I wish I had never met Jack.”

“I played with the big boys and this is the result – sometimes you go into a business, and the upside potential is so great that you close your eyes and look the other way,” Kidan went on to tell Newsday. “I looked the other way, and the other way has come back to smack me.”

A 1998 GW press release on the University’s Web site indicates that Kidan was slated to deliver a speech at the Marvin Center that year as part of the Hoffman Lecture Series, which featured entrepreneurs who spoke to business school students. At the time, Kidan was chairman and CEO of Dial-a-Mattress, according to the University release.

Four months after the pair bought SunCruz Casinos from founder Konstantinos Boulis, Boulis was murdered. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Boulis was trying to regain control of SunCruz from Kidan at the time. Kidan made payments to companies headed by two of three men accused of the murder when he headed SunCruz, according to court documents. Kidan’s and Abramoff’s lawyers deny any involvement with the murder, the Florida newspaper reported.

-Ryan Holeywell

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.