Former high-ranking DOJ official implicated in Abramoff case.

The AP reports that a Robert Coughlin, former deputy chief of staff of the Justice Department’s criminal division, “was accused Monday of criminal conflict of interest in the latest case stemming from the investigation of disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.” Coughlin resigned a year ago for “personal reasons”:

Prosecutors accused Coughlin in court papers Monday of providing assistance from 2001-2003 to a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s firm while receiving gifts from the firm and discussing prospective employment there.

The lobbyist isn’t named but The Associated Press has previously reported that Coughlin was lobbied during the period in question by Kevin Ring, a member of Abramoff’s lobbying team who also is under investigation. At the time Coughlin worked for the Justice Department’s office of legislative affairs and Ring worked for Abramoff’s Greenberg Traurig firm.

Coughlin talked with Ring about going to work for Greenberg
, according to an attorney with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Ring also provided Coughlin with meals and tickets to events, the AP has reported.

TPM Muckraker has more.