Charges, Jail Time and Saints Win the Superbowl!

Jun 5, 2008 by

Who says The System doesn’t have a sense of humour?

Yesterdays indictments of Betty Jefferson, her brother Mose and daughter Angela Coleman, were announced exactly one year to the day that brother Bill Jefferson was indicted on 16 counts of bribery, fraud, racketeering and obstruction of justice. Elder sibling Mose has previously been indicted on charges related to bribing former School Board president Ellenese Brooks Sims. Sibling rivalry can be a real gas sometimes.

The charges are as follows:

Count 1: Conspiracy to steal from agencies receiving federal funds, and to commit mail fraud, Penalty: five years maximum imprisonment.

Counts 2 – 11: Aggravated identity theft, Penalty: two years max.
AC counts 2, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11. BJ counts 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Count 12: Stealing money from an organization receiving federal funds, Penalty: 10 years max.

Count 13: Stealing money from an organization receiving federal funds, Penalty: 10 years max.

Counts 14 – 23: Mail Fraud, Penalty: 20 years max per count.

Counts 24 – 26: False statements by Mose Jefferson to the FBI, Penalty: five years max per count.

Counts 27 – 30: Income Tax Invasion by Betty Jefferson. Penalty: five years max per count.

Count 31: Conspiracy to commit money laundering, Penalty: 20 years max.

If convicted on all counts Betty faces 279 years in jail, her daughter 257, and Mose is looking at 250 years. In addition each count caries a fine of up to $250,000 or double any profit to the defendant or loss to victim. Mose faces 50 years maximum for his earlier indictment and William is staring down a possible 235 years for his alleged shenanigans. That’s a lot of baloney sammiches!

These charges all center around three “non-profit” organizations run by the Jefferson clan: Care Unlimited, an organization meant to provide “educational support services” to pregnant teens and “focus on the broad problems of black males between the ages of 9 and 21;” Orleans Metropolitan Housing & Community Development, lord only knows what they do, no information is available on the web; and Central City Adult Education Agency, also cloaked in mystery regarding its exact nature.

All three organizations have received millions in state and federal funds through the help of Renee Gill-Pratt, protogĂ© and paramour of both William and Mose, and Jalila Jefferson Bullock, William’s daughter who both held the same seat in the state legislature and used their position to earmark money for the organizations.

WDSU’s Gina Swanson reports that this may cause the public to associate the Jefferson family name with public corruption. Really? And you get paid how much for stating the obvious? Silly me, I thought the connection had already been made. Why else would the Feds be hammering away at them? Jefferson family attorneys are already hard at work pounding out Change of Venue paperwork like they did for William whose trial will be held in Virginia. Strange. I would think that New Orleans would be the best place to hold the trial considering the non-stick coating this family has been wearing for the last thirty or so years. Especially if, as they say, the Jeffersons are innocent.

This morning a WDSU poll asked if these new charges would affect voters in William’s upcoming re-election bid and the results were interesting. 72% of responders said no, they were planning on voting for someone else and 6% said they still supported Bill. 22% said that they would no longer vote for Jefferson. There may be hope for us yet! Of course, only ten percent of those people will bother to vote anyway.

So it looks as if New Orleans darker side will be thrust naked and mewling in the National Spotlight once again for everyone to see, and that’s a shame and a blessing. It’s a shame the nation will once again see our local “leaders” as greedy pigs, gorging themselves on the taxpayer teat, but a blessing that we will be seen taking action to clean our own house and that may serve as the impetus for businesses to move into the area, create jobs, lower the crime rate, fund education, fix the blight, promote local music, restore the Lower Ninth, cure West Nile, defeat the Formosans and carry the Saints to a Superbowl victory!!!!

Or am I just being overly optimistic?

For more on the William and the Jeffersons:

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