The former Democratic Congressman was convicted back in August of 11 counts of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. He was acquitted on other charges of obstruction of justice and violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Today he was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.
Jefferson, a Democrat, was convicted on 11 counts related to a scheme in which he used influence to win contracts for businesses in Africa, while accepting millions of dollars in payments and stock to family-owned businesses. During a raid, the FBI famously found $90,000 in his freezer.
Now, I know there’s no consistency in federal sentencing, but 13 years seems a bit high when contrasted with the 8 years and 4 months Randy “Duke” Cunningham received in 2006 for taking $2.4 million in exchange for military contracts. According to Vanity Fair, it was at the time “the harshest sentence ever received by an ex-congressman for corruption.” I guess that’s the difference in taking a plea and going to trial. Or maybe getting caught with cash in your freezer is considered tackier than demanding expensive antiques in return for favors.