November 16th, 2009
04:17 PM ET

Louisiana ex-congressman gets 13 years on corruption conviction

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/13/jefferson.sentencing/story.william.jefferson.gi.jpg caption="William Jefferson, shown with his wife, Andrea, represented the New Orleans area in Congress for 18 years." width=300 height=169]

Paul Courson

Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on 11 counts of corruption.

Jefferson was also ordered to forfeit more than $470,000 after his conviction for using his office to solicit bribes.
He will also have to pay $1,100 in special assessments.
The case against the former nine-term Louisiana Democrat included allegations of influence-peddling and the discovery of $90,000 in cash in his freezer.
Judge T.S. Ellis will determine at a hearing next Wednesday whether Jefferson will remain free pending appeal. Until then, he is free.

"The court's sentence today reaffirms the principle that all people - no matter what their title or position - are equal before the law," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman in a statement.

"In a stunning betrayal of the public's trust, former Congressman Jefferson repeatedly used his public office for private gain. The lengthy prison sentence imposed on Mr. Jefferson today is a stark reminder to all public officials that the consequences of accepting bribes can and will be severe."


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