Ex-Rep. Bill Jefferson, freed from prison, wants to void $392,000 judgment

 

Seven months removed from prison, former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana is trying to undo a $392,000 civil judgment for stockholders in a defunct telecommunications company that figured into his criminal case. He's asked a federal judge in Louisville, Ky., to reverse the order that he pay the money to iGate Inc. investors.

The reason: The convictions on which the civil award rested have been overturned. "Thus, no basis any longer exist[s] on which this court may maintain its judgment and order," Jefferson's motion says.


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The lawsuit was filed 11 years ago by Daniel Cadle of Newton Falls, Ohio, on behalf of himself and other iGate shareholders. It's been pending so long that the original judge has taken semi-retirement.

Much else has changed in the interim. Jefferson, a New OrleansDemocrat who served 18 years in Congress, lost his 2008 reelection race while under indictment in a case in which the FBI famously found $90,000 cash in his freezer. The next year, he was convicted of corruption charges for accepting more than $400,000 in bribes and seeking millions more in exchange for brokering business deals in Africa.

He and his wife, Andrea Jefferson, declared bankruptcy. Soon Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison -- the longest ever for a member of Congress.

The couple sold their Uptown house in 2015 for $758,000, according to public records. They now live in a gated apartment complex near Gretna.

A Harvard Law School graduate, Jefferson has been disbarred. He's now representing himself in the Kentucky civil case, after having had prestigious Washington attorney Robert Trout defend him in the criminal case.

Adrian Long

Adrian Long

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