Abramoff Aide Plays the Market

By: Garrett M. Graff

Only four months after buying a $2.2-million house in Georgetown, former Jack Abramoff pal Michael Scanlon and his wife, Brandy McMahon, have put the house back on the market—with an asking price nearly $300,000 more than what they paid in February.

The couple indirectly brought about the entire Abramoff lobbying scandal when Scanlon broke off his engagement to another Hill aide and began dating McMahon—a 24-year-old waitress at the Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth Beach, where Scanlon was lifeguarding. The jilted fiancée teamed up with Scanlon’s ex-wife, Carrie Anne Messina, to raise suspicions about Scanlon’s lifestyle. During the height of his association with Abramoff, Scanlon rented a $17,000-a-month penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton in DC’s West End and a share of a Gulfstream jet.

Scanlon has long had an extensive—and profitable—real-estate portfolio, at one point owning five expensive homes, including a $4.7-million former DuPont mansion in Delaware.

As part of the Abramoff investigation, Scanlon pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiring to bribe a member of Congress but has not been sentenced. As part of that plea agreement, he agreed to pay up to $19.7 million in restitution.

This article first appeared in the August 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles like it, click here

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