NOVEMBER 19, 2007
The indicted Louisiana congressman caught with a $90,000 cash bribe in his freezer illegally solicited money in at least two other schemes separate from the ones he has already been charged with.
Federal authorities have uncovered a pair of other bribery schemes orchestrated by corrupt Louisiana Representative William Jefferson, who was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this year for using his official position to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for himself and his family.
That massive indictment details Jefferson’s involvement in a 16-month public corruption probe that culminated with an FBI videotape of him accepting a $100,000 cash bribe. Federal agents subsequently raided Jefferson’s home and found most of the money, in marked bills, stashed in his freezer and wrapped in aluminum foil.
It turns out that the nine-term Democrat congressman also solicited bribes from previously undisclosed sources. Federal prosecutors say in 2002 Jefferson asked a lobbyist of a U.S. oil service company for $10,000 a month for a family member in exchange for the lawmaker’s assistance in promoting the firm’s business in Africa.
A few years later Jefferson agreed to influence the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to do business with a rocket technology firm that agreed to pay Jefferson’s family business as well as a relative.
Incredibly, Jefferson’s supporters say that he is the victim of a Republican White House and Justice Department scheming to target black Democratic leaders. One prominent New Orleans reverend even compared the disgraced congressman to a pair of renowned civil rights leaders (Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver).
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