In summer 2004, Pfeffer, Mody, Jefferson and others met in New Orleans at the law firm of one of Jefferson's daughters, who provided the legal work for the business deal.
They've got a million of 'em
Not surprisingly, the late-night TV comics are having a field day with the federal investigation of Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, especially the revelation in government documents that agents found $90,000 stuffed in the freezer of his Washington, D.C. home. Jay Leno on NBC: "As you may have heard, Rep. William Jefferson was caught on tape taking a $100,000 bribe and then the FBI found $90,000 cash in his freezer. Jefferson said he didn't do anything wrong. He said he just fell in with the wrong crowd. You know, other congressmen." David Letterman on CBS: "Down in Washington, D.C. earlier today, it was so hot, it was so hot in Washington that one congressman actually got into the freezer with his bribe money." Another from Leno: "House Speaker Dennis Hastert has attacked the FBI for raiding the congressman's office, saying it was an abuse of power. Imagine the nerve of the FBI treating members of Congress like they are regular Americans. Can you imagine? If there's anything that people who make the laws hate is being treated like the people who have to follow the laws."
Some publicity is bad publicity
iGate Inc. CEO Vernon Jackson's guilty plea to bribing Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, has caused problems for another company with a similar name. iGate Corp. is based in Pittsburgh, Pa., and has nothing to do with iGate Inc. of Louisville, Ky. The Pittsburgh firm has 6,000 employees and has been in business 20 years, while iGate Inc. had only six employees, most in Kentucky, and had been in business only since 1997. The only thing they have in common is both are in the technology business, and that has caused plenty of confusion -- involvement in a criminal corruption probe isn't publicity that any company covets. iGate Corp. is trying to spread the word that there are two iGates, and that iGate Corp. is reputable and has no criminal issues pending. "It's been a little frustrating," said iGate Corp. CEO and founder Sunil Wadhwani. He said some people have come up to him and asked "if we're involved with the investigation and I tell them in no uncertain terms, 'No.' But fortunately it's been relatively few calls and questions. The good news is we've been in the industry over 20 years and we have a track record of integrity."