Italia Federici was sentenced in federal court in Washington today to 2.5 months in a half-way house and four years probation for her role in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal. Why no prison? She’s cooperating with the feds.

Italia Federici, who pleaded guilty in June to tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation, was spared prison only because she has become a key witness in the Justice Department’s ongoing corruption investigation.

Since the feds asked for house arrest and the Judge gave Federici 2.5 months in a halfway house, I think the Judge had a bit of a different view of her. Her lawyer painted her as a victim of greedy, powerful men. The Judge asked:

How, the judge asked, could Federici have not been suspicious? While Federici was serving as Abramoff’s go-between, his Indian clients were largely funding her nonprofit organization, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy.

Gayle Norton’s Deputy Secrectary of the Interior Steven Griles is already serving a 10 year sentence for his part in the scandal. So, who is Federici cooperating against? It’s unknown, but there are rumors…..

People close to the case have said Federici may be able to provide information about former Interior Secretary Norton, other Bush administration officials and members of Congress.

Norton took a job with Shell Oil after she resigned as Secretary of the Interior in 2006. She was formerly Colorado’s Attorney General. TalkLeft has some background on the Federici-Griles-Norton connection here and here. [cross-posted at]