During his corruption scheme, former congressman William Jefferson is thought to have hidden bribe monies in his refrigerator. He also apparently hid bribe monies by using shell companies formed in Delaware, Nigeria and other places. U.S. law enforcement officers were able to search for these illicit assets through search warrants and a letter rogatory seeking evidence in the Republic of Nigeria:
The jury’s August 5, 2009 verdict in U.S.A. v. Jefferson, found former congressman William Jefferson guilty of hiding bribery proceeds by laundering them, as described by the 12th, 13th and 14th counts of his indictment. The August 5, 2009 verdict and a U.S. Department of Justice press release also stated that Mr. Jefferson was guilty of soliciting bribes, honest services wire fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.
An August 6, 2009 jury verdict similarly found that about $470,000 dollars in two bank accounts were criminal proceeds subject to asset forfeiture. Under the August 6 verdict, stock shares in suspected shell companies, (likely used as Mr. Jefferson’s nominees), could be forfeited. These stock shares were for a Nigerian company “W2-IBBS”; a Ghanaian company “International Broad Band Services, LLC”; a Delaware company “Multi-Media Broad Band Services, Inc.”; and a company in Indiana “iGate, Incorporated.”
As was previously reported by the media, investigators in U.S.A. v. Jefferson had interdicted $90,000 in a freezer on August 3, 2005, pursuant to a search warrant executed at Mr. Jefferson’s Washington D.C. home. A search warrant of Mr. Jefferson’s congressional office had also been executed along with the one below for Mr. Jefferson’s New Orleans home.
To View The Entire Search Warrant, Click On The Above Image
A challenge prosecutors faced in U.S.A. v. Jefferson was that part of Mr. Jefferson’s corruption scheme included cross-border elements in Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries. To acquire evidence from foreign witnesses, prosecutors sought relief in the form of mutual legal assistance. Prosecutors also employed letters rogatory like the one available here for gathering evidence in the Republic of Nigeria. Letters rogatory can be used in a variety of legal matters to search for assets parked offshore. Under the right conditions, they may even be used to collect evidence from foreign bank witnesses who possess information about secret offshore bank accounts.
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Copyright 2009-2016 Fred L. Abrams