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Prosecutors Want Harsh Sentence For Ex-Rep Jefferson: They Also Fear he May Flee Country

Jefferson Could Be Saying Goodbye for a long time/official photo
Jefferson Could Be Saying Goodbye for a long time/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors still have no faith in convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana. They fear he may flee the country and that he may have secretly stashed away cash in a foreign land.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., prosecutors not only recommended that Jefferson, 62, go to prison for 27-33 years, but that he be tossed in the can immediately after sentencing next Friday. As his luck would have it, sentencing lands on Friday the 13th.

“First the defendant is 62 years of age and a significant sentence may result in his release from prison as an elderly man,” assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lytle wrote in the memorandum. “Consequently, there is a substantial risk that the defendant  may attempt to avoid his sentence by fleeing.”

“Moreover, the defendant may have the financial means necessary to sustain any flight from custody in spite of his recent bankruptcy filing,” the memo said.

The government went on to say that investigators had not “ruled out the possibility that the defendant controls nominee companies or financial accounts in foreign jurisdictions.”

Jefferson, a Harvard law grad, was convicted in the summer on 11 of 16 public corruption counts that included allegations that he took more than $478,000 in bribes.

Jefferson’s attorneys are likely to file a motion contesting the recommended sentence, which the government says falls within the federal sentencing guidelines. Defense attorneys are also likely to argue that Jefferson should remain free pending his appeal.

If the judge follows the government’s sentencing recommendation, it would very likely be the harshest public corruption sentence ever handed down to a Capitol Hill politician.

Taking that into consideration, and other factors, it’s likely the judge won’t agree to such a harsh sentence.

Jefferson Sentencing Memorandum

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Pingback from Jefferson’s Lawyer Thinks He Should Get Less than 10 Years — Not the 27 to 33 Years Prosecutors Want | Tickle The Wire
Time November 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm

[…] defense motion was in response to the government’s sentencing memorandum, which called for a harsh sentence of 27 to 33 years in prison, and urged the judge to put Jefferson away immediately after the sentencing, reasoning that the […]

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