At the Barclay Hotel in Center City, Schwartz and Jannotti met with two representatives of a "sheik" purportedly interested in building a luxury hotel in Philadelphia. The FBI recorded and videotaped the meetings.
Schwartz, who was known as the "Silver Fox" for his elegant tailoring and barbering, made a memorable boast as he accepted $30,000 and agreed to speed up the project.
"We got five or six members (of City Council)," he told the two FBI agents in disguise. "You tell me your birthday. I'll give them to you for your birthday."
After twice appealing his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, Schwartz entered a federal prison in April 1985 to serve a sentence of a year and a day.
Jannotti, a heavily built bar owner and a Schwartz political protege, was Council majority leader and chairman of the Finance Committee as well as a member of the Philadelphia Gas Commission when he was accused of taking a $10,000 bribe from the sheik's representatives.
He also appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court and eventually served a 4 1/2-month term, which ended in September 1985. Last January, Jannotti was named to head the city's Veterans Advisory Commission, but his appointment was quickly rescinded because of his Abscam conviction.
Johanson was convicted in August 1980 of accepting a share of a $50,000 bribe paid to U.S. Rep Michael J. "Ozzie" Myers of Philadelphia in exchange for Myers' promise to sponsor legislation for the immigration of a fictitious Arab sheik. Johanson had testified that one of the reasons he had accepted bribe money was to help his son, Louis Jr., 26, fight his alcoholism.
Johanson resigned from Council, sold his Philadelphia home, moved to Longport, N.J., and began doing volunteer work as an orderly and clerk at Atlantic City Medical Center.
He later studied nursing at a community college and then served a reduced sentence of a year in prison in 1983 and 1984.
In the previous decade, Councilman Isadore Bellis was accused of wrongdoing in office.
In 1976, Bellis was convicted in Common Pleas Court of accepting $47,000 in bribes to influence the granting of concessions at Philadelphia International Airport. He was fined $8,500 and put on probation. The state Supreme Court upheld that conviction in 1979.
In 1977, he was convicted of misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance in connection with allegations that he took $9,000 in kickbacks from a Norristown architect who had been awarded a $180,000 design contract at the airport.
Bellis won a new trial on those charges in 1985, and District Attorney Edward G. Rendell dropped the charges because a key witness had died.
Councilman David Silver was indicted in 1973 on perjury and malfeasance charges. He was accused of using his influence to obtain rezoning for a Northeast nursing home and of lying under oath that he had no interest in the home, of which he was president and a major stockholder.
The charges were dismissed after a Common Pleas Court judge ruled that he had not been brought to trial within the 270 days specified under "speedy trial" provisions.