Monday, June 04, 2007

Congressman William Jefferson Indicted

Not a surprise, considering the Feds found him hiding 90 grand in Jolly Green Giant packages in his freezer:

WASHINGTON - Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money-laundering in a long-running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.

The indictment handed up in federal court in Alexandria., Va., Monday is 94 pages long and lists 16 alleged violations of federal law that could keep Jefferson in prison for up to 235 years, according to a Justice Department official who has seen the document.

Among the charges listed in the indictment, said the official, are racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

He faces 235 years in prison.

If the charges are true, I hope he gets it.

I'm sick of these congressman and politicians thinking they're on the gravy train just because they got elected to something.

I don't care if they're Repubs (the majority of the recent indictments,) or Dems - if they're crooks, they've gotta go.

Reading the indictment, it seems Jefferson REALLY thought he was on the gravy train.

What a piece of shit he is.

This guy is going to be the poster boy for "corrupt politician."

What a piece of crap. I usually wait for the indictment before I hang someone in my mind.

This one has enough weight for me: he is dead to me now.
I feel the same way.

The Congressional Black Caucus is going to continue to support him and pressure Pelosi not to seek his resignation. Pelosi needs to ignore them and get him out.

BTW, what does it say about voters in his district that they re-elected him knowing he was facing possible indictments in the future? Old time Louisiana.
I agree. Pelosi needs to ask him to step down right now. That would set him apart from guys like Ney who didn't even immediately step down after he was convicted.

The voters in his district are apparently as blinded by color as the Congressional Black Caucus.

I wonder what the Congressional Black Caucus would say if someone started a Congressional White Caucus.
Jefferson's only defense, as I understand it, is that the money he took came from Nigeria, rather than the US or a US company. Not that that makes a whole lot of difference, but it still beats what the people associated with Jack Abramoff were doing. In a way, there is a certain poetic justice in an American scamming the Nigerians - turn about and all that.

Louisiana is just Chinatown with swamps.

As poetic as that justice may be, American legislation specifically forbids taking or offering bids in foreign countries.
I haven't really followed so much back here in the deep south. Jefferson was to face a run-off election in LA. Did he win that?
Yes, cartledge, he won the hand-off pretty handily. Which is disturbing, considering how much was known about his doings even before the indictment.

PT, good point - doesn't matter where you're stealing the money from, it's the stealing that counts.

kicksiron, that is a great line! Louisiana is chinatown with swamps. I love it! (I also love the movie Chinatown, btw)
This clown has accepted bribes from companies that aren't capable of producing world-class products.

Aside from oil and possibly some other natural resource, Nigeria exports nothing. Except internet scams.

In other words, this clown congressman took bribes to permit inferior companies to sell junk in the US.

However, this is Louisiana politics. The everyday variety.

I'm sure this doofus would support the rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward, and support rebuilding it BELOW sea level.
PT, I don't know what the current state of law regarding bribery in foreign countries is, but it used to be that the practise was winked at in certain countries where bribing public officials was just a part of the cost of doing business. Iraq is currently on that list -- a significant portion of what KBR bills the US is bribery paid to local officials. Whether Nigeria is on that list, I have no idea.

I do have to correct one thing though -- I now understand that the money was from a US company that was trying to ink a communications deal with the Nigerian government. The company got the contract, but the FBI intercepted the money before it lined some corrupt official's pockets. If Jefferson skimmed some for acting as a go-between (which I'm fairly certain he did), then shame on him.

I'm currently enrolled in an MBA program. Two of my first classes are financial accounting and ethics.

What you say is true about the past. However, the U.S. took the lead on this and passed a law prohibiting Americans from offering or accepting bribes in foreign countries.

After a bit of hay-day, nearly 30 of Europe's largest companies voluntarily agreed to join the Americans. One of those companies is Siemens who just got popped for giving hundreds of millions in bribes over the last decade.
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