JULY 11, 2008
A notoriously corrupt Louisiana congressman already awaiting trial for operating a massive bribery scheme has been linked to a separate criminal case involving a state lawmaker indicted for money laundering.
There seems to be no end to the criminal actions of nine-term Democrat William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, the most famous member of a politically prominent family that has seen five members charged with federal crimes including a sister who recently pleaded guilty to skimming money from a charity operated by relatives.
In addition to his massive, multiple-count indictment for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as a member of the powerful House Africa Caucus, Jefferson evidently teamed up with Louisiana state Senator Derrick Shepherd to help an unlicensed bond broker launder money to conceal the operation of an illegal insurance business.
Federal prosecutors charged Shepherd a few months ago and this week his attorney revealed that the lengthy indictment refers to Jefferson as public official “A.” Also mentioned as a conspirator is a public official “B,” which evidently is Jefferson’s sister Betty, an elected New Orleans tax assessor. Nearly half a million dollars were laundered by the clan of corrupt public officials.
The Jefferson family is quite popular among federal prosecutors, who have charged big brother Mose Jefferson, a well-connected New Orleans lobbyist, with bribing a public school official, sister Brenda Jefferson with skimming money from a charity and niece Angela Coleman in the same charity scandal. Last month Brenda Jefferson actually pleaded guilty to participating in the charity conspiracy that helped her family pocket more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money.
The star of this family with incredibly competitive siblings is by far little brother William Jefferson, who made international headlines for stashing a cash bribe in his freezer. The FBI had captured him on tape accepting a $100,000 cash bribe and subsequently found most of the marked bills in his freezer, wrapped in aluminum foil in $10,000 increments. His trial is scheduled for later this year.
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