Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

"Dollar Bill" Jefferson sentenced to 13 years

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He’s a Democrat, he did wrong, and he’s going to serve time. I think this is an excellent step—just as it was an excellent step for the Republican "Duke" Cunningham (who actually had a price list of his services), who got 8 years. Here’s the story by Dave Cook in the Christian Science Monitor:

A federal judge sentenced former Rep. William Jefferson, (D) of Louisiana, to 13 years in prison for his conviction on corruption charges that famously included hiding cash in his home freezer.

Prosecutors had asked for a term of 27 to 33 years under federal sentencing guidelines. The request was significantly longer than for other congressmen in recent scandals. Defense lawyers had sought a term of less than 10 years. The 13 year sentence, which Jefferson’s lawyers have 10 days to appeal, is believed to be the longest ever given to a former member of Congress.

Jefferson, who represented part of New Orleans, was convicted in August on 11 of 16 federal charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He was also the first sitting member of Congress to be charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Jefferson tried to bribe the then-vice president of Nigeria. Some $90,000 of that bribe was found in Jefferson’s freezer when federal agents raided his home.

In imposing the sentence Friday afternoon in a courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, Judge T.S. Ellis III said Jefferson’s conduct was “a cancer on the body politic.”

On the advice of his attorney, Jefferson declined the opportunity to make a statement at his sentencing, and he remained silent because he plans to appeal his conviction.

In sentencing documents, federal prosecutors accused Jefferson of a “stunning betrayal of public trust” and sought a sentence that could amount to life for the 62 year-old former member of Congress.

“The defendant betrayed the public’s trust time after time by using his congressional office as a criminal enterprise to further a pattern of racketeering acts of corruption and self-enrichment,” prosecutors wrote. They noted that Jefferson had participated in “no fewer than eleven distinct bribe schemes.” …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 November 2009 at 11:56 am

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