OCTOBER 24, 2007
A Louisiana senator under federal investigation for helping a convicted felon launder more than $140,000 says authorities are simply punishing him for not providing information against a fellow corrupt lawmaker who was recently indicted.
The FBI says that Louisiana Democrat state Senator Derrick Shepard helped a twice-convicted felon launder about $141,000 in fraudulently generated bond fees last year, keeping nearly half the money as part of the arrangement.
Like most corrupt politicians, Shepard vehemently denies the allegations and assured at a press conference that federal authorities are simply retaliating against him because he has refused to provide incriminating information against a fellow Louisiana Democrat recently charged for accepting bribes.
That fellow legislator is William Jefferson, a nine-term congressman caught with a $90,000 cash bribe in his freezer and charged wit bribery and racketeering. A massive indictment issued earlier this year details his involvement in a 16-month public corruption probe that culminated with an FBI videotape of him accepting the cash. Agents subsequently raided Jeffersonâ??s home and found the money, in marked bills, stashed in his freezer and wrapped in aluminum foil.
Senator Shepard maintains that Jefferson, a close friend, has done nothing wrong and that authorities have absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing against the veteran lawmaker. At his recent news conference Shepard actually said: â??I will not flip against any elected official when there is no proof of illegal conduct.”
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