ABSCAM was a US political scandal in 1980. It was an FBI sting operation that exposed members of Congress who sold their votes or participated in other criminal activity. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation.
FBI agents posed as Arab sheiks and offered bribes to members of Congress in exchange for their votes as part of a plan to entrap them in an illegal business scheme. The FBI was successful and approximately twelve members of Congress were caught. The term ABSCAM is derived from ABdul Enterprises, the fictitious entity the FBI created to catch Congressional members who took bribes, and SCAM which is the FBI sting operation itself.