Today’s Washington Post front page story on Rep. [sw: William Jefferson] (D-LA) gives the best summary of what he is accused of doing and the network of businesses and front groups that he set up to receive bribes in seven different deals.
For Jefferson, 59, the money-making schemes were supposed to be all in the family, involving his wife, two brothers, five daughters and two sons-in-law. As a member of the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee, Jefferson has traveled repeatedly to Nigeria and other western African countries and met with their leaders.
At first, Jefferson promoted iGate’s technology without asking for anything in return. But in early 2001, according to court documents, he informed Jackson that his services would no longer be free. On Jan. 19 of that year, the Jefferson family started the ANJ Group, with Jefferson’s wife, Andrea Green Jefferson, as manager, and his five daughters listed as company members.
On Rep. Jefferson’s instructions, court records show, ANJ was to receive $7,500 a month in consulting fees from iGate, along with 5 percent of gross sales over $5 million a year, 5 percent of capital investments in iGate secured by Jefferson and 1 million shares of the company.
Between 2001 and 2005, iGate transferred $455,446 to ANJ, some of which covered Jefferson’s travel costs to Africa, according to an FBI search warrant.
The seed of Jefferson’s current troubles was planted in 2004 when Netlink Digital Television abruptly backed out of a one-year-old agreement with iGate to provide access to Nigeria’s cable television and Internet market. That breach sent Jefferson and Jackson scrambling for new investors, court records show. They found Lori Mody.
Mody, of course, wound up turning Jefferson and Jackson into the FBI after she realized that she was being played. You can read the rest if you need to get a full understanding of what underlies the Jefferson corruption story.