Jefferson Convicted of Bribery, Storing Cash in Freezer

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Former U.S. representative William Jefferson was convicted today (Aug. 5) on 11 of 16 bribery counts. A jury found that Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana who was on the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee, had used his position to promote ventures in Africa in return for large amounts of cash.

Warning: Freezer Accounts Not Federally Insured, May Be Federally Seized Cold cash, literally, or at least some of it was.  In a 2005 search of Jefferson's home, FBI agents investigating the bribe allegations found $90,000 in his freezer, "neatly wrapped in aluminum foil."  Citing that incident, the Times described the Jefferson case as having "elements of near-comedy," although I would describe this one as an element of actual comedy.

Jefferson defended the case by arguing that his actions in Africa were not "official acts" under public corruption laws, but it was not clear from the article how the defense explained the frozen assets.

Link: New York Times