Friday, November 13, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. | Former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison after being convicted of public corruption in a case where thousands of dollars were found stashed in his freezer.

At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said “there must be some sort of greed virus that infects those in power,” referring to other politicians serving prison sentences, including former Rep. Duke Cunningham, California Republican, who was sentenced to eight years in 2006 for taking bribes, as well as for tax evasion.

Jefferson stood quietly and did not react to the sentencing. He chose not to speak during the proceedings.

Prosecutors had sought at least 27 years for the Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans.

Jefferson was convicted in August on bribery and racketeering charges. Prosecutors said he took in about $500,000 in bribes and sought millions more.

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