Former Rep. William Jefferson Sentenced to 13 Years
Former Congressman William Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years today. He was convicted of 11 counts related to public corruption.
Jefferson was found guilty after an eight-week trial of soliciting bribes, depriving citizens of honest service, money laundering and using his congressional office as a racketeering enterprise. The case was best known for the $90,000 federal agents found hidden in the freezer of Jefferson's home in Washington, D.C.
The five charges for which he was acquitted included single count of violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- the charge most closely related to the $90,000 found in his freezer.
Prosecutors asked for 27 years. The defense asked for less than 10. Jefferson was allowed to remain on bond pending a hearing next week on the Government's request he be ordered into custody immediately. [More...]
The judge said he will hold a hearing next week to set date for when Jefferson must report to prison. If the judge approves the prosecution's request, the former congressman would have to report immediately. Jefferson's attorneys have asked for Jan. 4 reporting date. Jefferson is expected to be assigned to a low-security prison in the federal system, possibly in Florida. Ellis has not yet ruled on whether Jefferson can remain free while he pursues his appeal, which will likely take months.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of $$470,653.47 to the government. Jefferson and his wife filed for bankruptcy recently, and his lawyers are owed $5.7 million.
Jefferson intends to appeal:
The attorneys have said that they will challenge several decisions made by Ellis during the trial including his definition of official acts, which they believer was overly broad and his decision not to tell the jury that an FBI agent assigned to the case had a sexual relationship with Mody in 2005 when she was recording conversations with Jefferson.
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