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Cold Cash Jefferson gets 13 years in the slammer: “Public corruption is a cancer on the body politic”

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 13, 2009 10:28 PM

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Photoshop: Suitably Flip

Justice is served. The race hustlers will bray and moan, but disgraced Democrat Rep. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson had it coming. Thirteen years in prison for what the judge in the case called “the most extensive and pervasive pattern of corruption in the history of Congress:”

Former Rep. William Jefferson was sentenced today to 13 years in prison for his conviction on 11 counts of public corruption in a case in which he famously hid $90,000 in his freezer.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III delivered the sentence at a packed courtroom in the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va. Prosecutors had asked for 27 to 33 years in prison, while Jefferson’s lawyers said the prison term should be less than 10 years.

…Ellis has not yet ruled on whether Jefferson can remain free while he pursues his appeal, which will likely take months.

Ellis did say that Jefferson must forfeit $470,653.47 to the government that the jury determined was obtained illegally in the schemes alleged.

…Ellis said he found Jefferson’s conduct “a cancer on the body politic.”

…Jefferson was found guilty after an eight-week trial of soliciting bribes, depriving citizens of honest service, money laundering and using his congressional office as a racketeering enterprise. The case was best known for the $90,000 federal agents found hidden in the freezer of Jefferson’s home in Washington, D.C.

The five charges for which he was acquitted included single count of violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — the charge most closely related to the $90,000 found in his freezer. The government said that Jefferson, who received the money from Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody, took the cash with the intentions to bribe to the then vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar. Mody was acting as a cooperating witness and secretly recording her conversations with Jefferson for the FBI.

During the trial, in which neither Jefferson nor Mody testified, Trout said that Jefferson had no intention of paying a bribe to Abubakar, but never said why the money was in the freezer.

Jefferson’s lawyers, who are owed more than $5.7 million by Jefferson, according to documents submitted in his and wife Andrea’s recent bankruptcy filing, have 10 business days to file an appeal.

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