Aug 6, 2009

Culture of corruption: former congressman convicted

Former Congressman William Jefferson (pictured) was convicted Wednesday on 11 of 16 criminal counts filed against him — including charges that he accepted bribes and engaged in money laundering while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jefferson was a Democrat who represented constituents in New Orleans Louisiana. He was convicted Wednesday on 11 of the 16 corruption charges against him in a case that included the discovery of $90,000 cash in his freezer.

A federal court jury convicted Jefferson on four bribery counts, three counts of money laundering, three counts of wire fraud and one count of racketeering. He was acquitted on five other counts including wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Jefferson had pleaded not guilty. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 150 years in prison, with sentencing tentatively set for October 30.