T-P Headline: "Prosecutors say former Rep. William Jefferson [D-LA] hoped to funnel hundreds of millions to his family"

Opening statement Point-Counterpoint in the trial of former US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA):

In an opening that lasted one hour and 10 minutes, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark] Lytle sketched out nearly a dozen different telecommunications, oil, sugar and incinerator deals in which he said Jefferson wielded the enormous influence in west Africa that he had accrued in Congress, including direct access to heads of state, in exchange for payments and a piece of the action for family members or “sham” companies under their control “whose sole purpose was to collect illegal bribes.”…

Lytle described deals designed to benefit Jefferson’s wife and five daughters; a son-in-law, Phillip E. Jones Jr.; and Jefferson’s brothers, Archie, and especially Mose, who is under indictment in New Orleans on unrelated corruption charges. If everything had worked out the way they planned, Lytle said, Mose Jefferson stood to reap hundreds of millions of dollars from deals, including one involving a sugar plant in west Africa.

And for that reward, Lytle said, Mose Jefferson would have to do “absolutely nothing. He’s no expert on west Africa, and he’s certainly no expert on sugar.” …

Lytle said ANJ Group, a “shell company” named for and controlled by Jefferson’s wife and five daughters, received $385,000, which it spent to help pay tuition for Jefferson’s daughters’ elite colleges and other things.



Addressing what he called the “elephant in the room, ” [Defense Attorney Robert] Trout began by talking about the $90,000 the FBI found wrapped in foil and nestled in Boca burger and Pillsbury pie crust boxes in Jefferson’s freezer when the agency raided his Washington, D.C., home Aug. 3, 2005. He said Jefferson hid the money there to keep it safe from his housekeeper and any intruders while he was away from Washington that month while Congress was in recess.  [emphasis added]

There’s your “honorable explanation”. Boo-ya!