Govt asks 27 years in prison for ex-Rep. Jefferson

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 1:42 PM

Federal prosecutors want a prison term of at least 27 years for a former Louisiana congressman convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans, was convicted of bribery, racketeering and other counts. The case made headlines when authorities found $90,000 cash hidden in his freezer.

He will be sentenced on Friday. Prosecutors want a term of 27 to 33 years under federal sentencing guidelines. That would be significantly longer than sentences for other congressman in recent scandals.

The government also wants Jefferson to begin serving his sentence immediately after Friday's hearing. He is currently free on bond.

Defense lawyers have not yet filed their sentencing arguments.