Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Dollar Bill" Jefferson ...

Since being listed in the Congresspedia blogroll, we intend to report more often on the fall congressional campaign in Louisiana, primarily the 2nd district. Following is a profile of the incumbent, adapted from Wikipedia:

William Jennings Jefferson (pictured), born March 14, 1947, represents Louisiana's 2nd congressional district, which includes much of the greater New Orleans area. A Democrat, Jefferson has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991. He is Louisiana's first black Congressman since the end of Reconstruction.

In May 2006 Jefferson’s Congressional offices were raided, but he was re-elected later that year. On June 4, 2007, a federal grand jury indicted Jefferson on 16 charges related to corruption.

The corruption investigation began in mid-2005, after an investor alleged $400,000 in bribes were paid through a company maintained in the name of his spouse and children. The money came from a tech company named iGate, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky, and in return, it is alleged, Jefferson would help iGate's business.

On 30 July 2005, Jefferson was videotaped by the FBI receiving $100,000 worth of $100 bills in a leather briefcase at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Jefferson told an investor, Lori Mody, who was wearing a wire, that he would need to give Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar $500,000 "as a motivating factor" to make sure they obtained contracts for iGate and Mody's company in Nigeria.

A few days later, on 3 August 2005, FBI agents raided Jefferson's home in Northeast Washington and, as noted in an 83-page affidavit filed to support a subsequent raid on his Congressional office, "found $90,000 of the cash in the freezer, in $10,000 increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers." Serial numbers found on the currency in the freezer matched serial numbers of funds given by the FBI to their informant.

In January 2006, Brett M. Pfeffer, a former aide to Jefferson, implicated him in a corruption scheme involving an Internet company being set up in Nigeria. Pfeffer was president of an investment company in McLean, Virginia. In return for political support for the deal, Jefferson had legal work directed toward his family's operations. It was also said that a daughter of his was put on retainer of the Virginia investment company to the tune of $5,000 a month. Jefferson also is said to have arranged for his family a 5% to 7% ownership stake in the Nigerian Internet company. Pfeffer pled guilty to charges of aiding and abetting bribery of a public official and conspiracy on 11 January 2006 in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. On May 26, he was sentenced to eight years, but was "cooperating in an ongoing probe and may be eligible for a sentence reduction afterward", according to a prosecutor.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Post a Comment

<< Home