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Tag: Lori Mody

Lead FBI Agent in Rep.William Jefferson Case Speaks Out About the Victories and Near Misses


Lori Mody

By Gordon Russell
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Were it not for Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody’s skillful undercover work, William Jefferson would probably still be representing Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington, according to the FBI agent who oversaw the case against the longtime Democratic congressman.

It was Mody who first brought Jefferson’s corruption to the attention of federal investigators, Special Agent Tim Thibault says. And more importantly, it was Mody’s zeal for the case and mastery of hidden-wire work — as well as her willingness to put her own money at risk — that made the case.

Thibault conceded that Mody was an imperfect government operative, referring obliquely to her “personal issues.” What he didn’t say was that the FBI learned just days before Jefferson’s 2009 trial was to begin that she had slept with one of the case agents, causing federal authorities to decide to keep her off the witness stand. She had been penciled in as the star witness.

To read full story click here.

Some Doing Better Than Others After Congressman Jefferson Scandal

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A little more than a year after being sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery, ex-Rep. William Jefferson of money-in-the-freezer fame, remains free pending an appeal.

And while the former New Orleans Democratic Congressman remains free, nothing will reverse the mess that resulted from what “federal prosecutors called a web of shakedown schemes orchestrated by Jefferson”, Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Some are doing better than others, the paper reports.

Vernon Jackson, the CEO of iGate Inc., who pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson to help promote his high tech company in Africa, had his 87-month sentence reduced to three years after testifying in the trial against Jefferson, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Jackson called his time in prison the “greatest years of my life” because it brought him closer to God. The paper reports that he is now devoting his life to being a pastor.

The paper reports that Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria who authorities never charged, but alleged had taken bribes from Jefferson, is running for president of Nigeria.

Others have not done so well.

To read more click here.

Website Challenges Conservative Columnist Over the Firing of a D.C. FBI Agent

Frank Gaffney/facebook

Frank Gaffney/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The news website TPMmuckraker is challenging an assertion by conservative columnist Frank Gaffney in a recent op-ed piece  that D.C. FBI agent John Guandolo lost his job because of fierce opposition to radical Islamic ideology, not because he was sleeping with a key witness in the ex-Congressman William Jefferson public corruption case as was reported.

“And in an e-mail exchange with TPMmuckraker, Gaffney is standing by the column, while providing no information to back up his claim,” the website wrote.

The website wrote: ” The Jan. 5 column, which ran in the Washington Times and elsewhere and encourages president Obama to hire Guandolo as part of a terrorism “Team B,” includes this passage (emphasis ours):

“Moreover, few in the military, intelligence or law enforcement communities have missed what has happened under this administration (and, in fairness, under the previous one) to patriots like the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s erstwhile Shariah specialist, Steven Coughlin, or an FBI special agent with deep expertise in counterterrorism and jihad, John Guandolo. For courageously challenging the official orthodoxy on the ideological wellspring of the threats we face, namely Shariah, they lost their jobs.”

To read more on the matter click here.

Legal Experts Chastise FBI For Not Disclosing Sooner Agent’s Sexual Affair With Informant in Jefferson Case

Informant Lori Mody

Informant Lori Mody

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –– Transparency, transparency, transparency.  And yes, disclosure. That’s often the best policy when the federal government takes a  case to trial, particularly a big one.

But Bruce Alpert and Jonathan Tilove, reporters at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, have put together an intriguing report on how the FBI failed to disclose early on that an agent who was working undercover in the ex-Rep. William Jefferson case had an affair with a key informant, who wore a wire. Instead, the disclosure was made to the court just days before trial began in June (it became public last week).

The paper quotes various legal experts, including George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, as saying the tardy disclosure involving FBI agent John Guandolo and informant Lori Mody was unacceptable.

“This is just unbelievable, ” Turley told the Picayune. “If the FBI was aware that an agent had an improper relationship with a confidential source, it is information that should have been disclosed to the court.”

The defense asked for a new trial based partly on the affair, but the trial judge rejected the request. In all likelihood, it’s not likely to get much traction in the appeal process considering the minor role the agent played in the case — he pretended to be Mody’s chauffeur — and the affair did not change the facts in the case.

Ticklethewire.com reported last week that the married agent had drawn up, at the urging of his therapist,  a list of  women he had an affair with to show how it all impacted his marriage.  The list included other  female FBI agents and an unnamed confidential source who ended up being Lori Mody.

Someone found the list and gave it to his supervisor, which became his undoing. Guandolo, who was considered a good agent, resigned last December. Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts.

Click here to read the full story in the Times-Picayune.

Therapist’s Request that Married FBI Agent List His Affairs Results in his Downfall

fbi-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A married FBI agent, at the center of sexual scandal that surfaced this week, had written down a list of sexual affairs with female FBI agents and a key informant in the Congressman William Jefferson case because his therapist had asked him to, according to a person familiar with situation.

The writing exercise, which became  FBI agent John Guadolo’s  undoing,  was supposed to help him realize the damage the affairs had done to his marriage, according to the source.

Instead, the affairs damaged his career after someone discovered his very personal document and showed it to his supervisors at the FBI Washington field office.

The Office of Professional Responsibility launched an internal probe into matter and he resigned in December 2008, several months before Jefferson went on trial and was convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts, according to government court documents.

The whole matter came to light this week when U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III refused to grant a new trial to the defense team of ex-Rep. William Jefferson.

The defense had raised the sexual affair with the informant as part of its push for a new trial.

Read more »

Jurors See Video of Informant Handing Rep. William Jefferson $100,000

Nearly everyone has heard about the marked $90,000 in FBI money FBI agents found in Jefferson’s home freezer on Aug. 3, 2005. On Tuesday, jurors saw an FBI video of a government informant handing $100,000 to Jefferson in a brief case. When agents raided the freezer, $10,000 of that payoff was missing. The prosecution hopes the video leaves an impression with jurors. It’s also interesting to note how careful Jefferson was during the conversation with the informant, Lori Mody.

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Jurors in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson saw a videotape Tuesday of the congressman accepting a briefcase packed with $100,000 in cash that prosecutors say was intended as the down payment on a bribe to the vice president of Nigeria.

Four days later, on Aug. 3, 2005, FBI agents found $90,000 of the marked bills stashed in the freezer at Jefferson’s Washington home.

Four times, from four different camera angles, the prosecution played the July 30, 2005, videotape of Jefferson receiving the briefcase from Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was his partner in a Nigerian telecommunications venture. Mody had brought the briefcase to their rendezvous in the parking lot of a Ritz Carlton Hotel in suburban Virginia.

“Would you like to take a peek at it, or whatever?” Mody asked as Jefferson removed the briefcase from the car trunk.

“I would not, ” replied Jefferson.

For Full Story

Pricey Dinner With Congressman William Jefferson and FBI Informant Turns Mushy to Favorite Childrens Book Velveteen Rabbit

velveteen-rabbitjpg3

Business woman Lori Mody wore an FBI wire during the  dinner to help the FBI snare a congressman. But during the pricey meal, the conversation got a little mushy. The two started talking about a favorite childrens book Velveteen Rabbit. Will the conversation make jury more sympathetic to the ex-Congressman?

By Jonathan Tilove
Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — The purpose of the four-hour dinner that William Jefferson shared with Lori Mody on May 12, 2005, at Galileo, one of Washington’s finest restaurants, was ostensibly to talk money, as befits a meal that ended up costing the FBI $1,023.15.

The amount of Jefferson’s equity share in Mody’s Nigerian venture was the main item on the official agenda.

But, according to excerpts of tapes, which were secretly recorded by Mody for the government and released Thursday by Jefferson’s defense team, it was about much more.

It was about trust and loyalty and human frailty. It was about fathers and daughters, about Jefferson’s pride in his five grown girls — “the best thing I did right” — and Mody’s advising Jefferson that perhaps in him, she had found a man with a rare combination of intellect and “street smarts,” a man she could trust like no one since her father.

For Full Story

Second Imprisoned Witness Who Confessed to Bribing Jefferson Testifies

alexandria-mapBrett Pfeffer, a former Jefferson aide, is the second person who has testified who has pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and is serving time in prison. That has to be tough for the defense to explain to the jury that two people have admitted bribing the Jefferson, but that Jefferson is innocent.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Defense attorneys for former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson played a recording Wednesday from a May 2005 lunch meeting in which Brett Pfeffer, a former Jefferson aide, assured investor Lori Mody that their dealings with the Democratic congressman were perfectly legal.

At the time of the conversation, Pfeffer worked for Mody, who ran a Virginia educational foundation. It was Pfeffer who brought Jefferson and Mody together and led Mody to sink $3.5 million into a deal to buy the Nigerian distribution rights for a telecommunications technology that Jefferson was promoting.

Asked by Jefferson attorney Amy Jackson how he squared the taped comments with his testimony Tuesday that he knew from the beginning that his and Mody’s dealings with Jefferson were illegal, Pfeffer said he didn’t want to say anything that would scare Mody away from a project he assumed would make him rich.

For Full Story