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article imageWilliam Jefferson Found Guilty of 11 out of 16 Corruption Counts

By Samantha A. Torrence     Aug 6, 2009 in Politics
Congressman William Jefferson (D) has been found guilty of 11 out of 16 counts of corruption. The congressman was noted for hiding bribe money in his freezer.
Former Congressman William Jefferson (D-Louisiana) has been found guilty of 11 out of 16 corruption charges. The FBI caught Jefferson accepting a bribe from a cooperative witness, the bribe totaled $100,000 in FBI monies, the bulk of which was later found during a raid in a freezer at his D.C. home. He also made waves last April when a court ruled that any evidence in his office was to be thrown out because of what the court ruled as a "breach of separation of powers."
The 11 guilty charges were centered around money laundering, racketeering, accepting bribes, and depriving citizens of honest services. The 5 charges he was found not guilty on were centered around the evidence found or related to his congressional office.
Jefferson, 62, was the first black American elected to Congress from Louisiana in 1990 and was heavily involved in African-United States Affairs. He served for 9 terms as a representative of the 2nd District of Louisiana. Before becoming a Congressman, Jefferson co-chaired the congressional caucuses on Nigeria and African trade. Those connections Jefferson had to trade in Africa seems to be a theme in his illegal acts.
Prosecutors asserted that Jefferson granted contracts and other business deals to elements in West Africa in exchange for donations to businesses of his friends and family. reports:
In the 16-count indictment, Jefferson was charged with soliciting bribes and other crimes for a series of schemes in which he helped American businesses broker deals in West African in exchange for payments or financial considerations to companies controlled by members of his family, including his brother Mose, his wife, Andrea, their five daughters and a son-in-law
Jefferson faces the maximum of 150 years in prison. His sentencing will be conducted on Oct. 30 by Judge T.S. Ellis III. He is allowed to remain out on bail till the date. His defense attorneys are looking to appeal the case.
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