Friday, November 13, 2009

William Jefferson sentenced to 13 years

From the Associated Press:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A former Louisiana congressman who famously stashed $90,000 cash in his freezer was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for taking hundreds of thousands in bribes in exchange for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa.

The sentence handed down in suburban Washington was far less than the nearly 30 years prosecutors had sought for William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans for nearly 20 years.

Agents investigating the case found $90,000 wrapped in foil and hidden in boxes of frozen pie crusts in his freezer.
Politico reported last week:
Jefferson was convicted in August on federal charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the first sitting member of Congress to be hit with that allegation. Jefferson tried to bribe the Nigerian vice president on a telecom contract for a company that the congressman secretly had a stake in. About $90,000 from that bribe was later found in Jefferson’s freezer when federal agents raided his home.

“The defendant betrayed the public’s trust time after time by using his congressional office as a criminal enterprise to a further a pattern of racketeering acts of corruption and self-enrichment,” federal prosecutors wrote. “His crimes included no fewer than eleven distinct bribe schemes as well as a conspiracy involving an extraordinary and historically unprecedented to agreement to bribe the the-sitting Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar.”

According to a DOJ estimate, these bribery schemes – which involved companies in West Africa – could have netted Jefferson and his family “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The congressional district from which Jefferson hailed, is now represented by Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, who gained his fifteen minutes of fame last week when he cast the only Republican vote in favor of Pelosicare.  Denis Keohane at American Thinker expresses hope that Cao may face a challenger from retired Army Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, who gained notoriety helping to calm the chaos in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

That would be fun.  Don't get stuck on stupid!

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