On November 13, 2009, the US District Court of Virginia, through Judge T.S. Ellis III, sentenced Congressman William J. Jefferson to 13 years in prison for bribery and corruption after a thoroughgoing investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
For “his stunning betrayal of public trust”, the court in a 37-page document charged Jefferson on eleven counts including money laundering, racketeering, and conspiracy with African governments in a bid to promote and expand his “telecommunications deals in Nigeria, Ghana, and elsewhere; oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea; satellite transmission contracts in Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo; and development of different plants and facilities in Nigeria”.
“His crimes included no fewer than eleven distinct bribe schemes as well as a conspiracy involving an extraordinarily and historically unprecedented agreement to bribe the then-sitting Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubabar.”
Jefferson, a Louisiana Democratic House of Representative member who described Abubabar as “really corrupt”, had sold his congressional office as a “criminal enterprise to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to support his business ventures in Africa”
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