PMA Group Closes Amid FBI Inquiry

March 29, 2009

For most of the last three decades, the lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti might have been mistaken for an owner of the Alpine, a wood-paneled Italian restaurant across the Potomac River from Washington where he routinely presided over boisterous tables of lawmakers and their staff members.

“Get me some oysters! Get me some steamed crabs! Get me a rack of lamb!” Mr. Magliocchetti would tell the cooks, strolling into the kitchen. “Every day a different thing,” the chef and owner Ermanno Tonizzo recalled fondly. “I don’t think he has ever seen the menu.”

That impresario act — pulling bottles from the private wine locker labeled “Mags” to entertain lawmakers at the clubby Capital Grille steakhouse, sending gift baskets or wine to lawmakers and their aides, or leasing each of his lobbyists a Lexus — helped Mr. Magliocchetti, a protégé of the powerful Representative John P. Murtha, build his lobbying firm into one of the 10 biggest in Washington.

Now, however, Mr. Magliocchetti’s generosity is coming to an abrupt halt: his firm, the PMA Group, is closing its doors next week, after reports that federal prosecutors had recently raided his office and his home.

Read more: (David D. Kirkpatrick and Charlie Savage, “Star Lobbyist Closes Shop Amid F.B.I. Inquiry,” The New York Times, 3/29/09)