Politics

Jefferson Sentence Could be Reduced to Time Served

Former congressman reportedly reaches deal with prosecutors to avoid resentencing trial

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., right, speaks to the media after his conviction on corruption charges in  2009 (CQ Roll Call file photo).

Former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson could possibly serve no additional prison time as his resentencing is being determined. 

The potential deal comes after U.S. Judge T.S. Ellis threw out seven of the original charges that landed Jefferson behind bars. An eighth charge was overturned in federal appeals court.

The resentencing comes after the Supreme Court increased the standard of proof for public corruption,  the New Orleans Advocate reported.

Jefferson was convicted on 11 charges of federal corruption for taking $400,000 in exchange for helping arrange business deals in Africa.

The story received national attention after an FBI raid found $90,000 in cash stored in Jefferson’s freezer. 

The agreement was filed in a Virginia federal court. Initially, Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison. 

After Ellis threw out his charges, Jefferson was released from prison. But federal prosecutors were hoping to re-try Jefferson on the remaining three charges he faced.

Under the proposed deal, two of Jefferson’s convictions would remain intact but his the other charges such as his violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act would be dropped.

Ellis had originally ordered Jefferson to pay a total of $470,653.47 as part of his sentence. But under the proposed deal, the government would keep $189,215.42 seized from his accounts and wipe out the rest.

Federal prosecutors agreed to recommend Jefferson be sentenced to the five years he already served in prison.

Jefferson’s resentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Watch: Roberts’ Phone Rings During Hearing

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