Skip to comments.Jefferson RAT-La trial enters third day of testimony (Billy Jeff worried about the “pokey.”)
Posted on 06/18/2009 8:41:27 PM PDT by Libloather
Jefferson trial enters third day of testimony
By GERARD SHIELDS
Advocate Washington bureau
Published: Jun 18, 2009 - UPDATED: 9:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON Jurors in the bribery trial of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson got their first chance Thursday to listen to secretly recorded government tapes that include Jefferson expressing worry about landing in the pokey.
The 18-year congressman was upset when a Kentucky telecommunications business owner suggested that they get a new investor for a project the two were promoting in Africa.
In one obscenity-laced statement, Jefferson was heard to say that the activities in which they were engaged could land them all in the pokey.
The tapes were played in the third day of testimony from the business owner, Vernon Jackson of iGate. Jackson and Jefferson were trying to secure a deal in Nigeria. Jackson became frustrated when the investor, Lori Mody, failed to pay $600,000 he was expecting. Jackson tells Jefferson on the phone that he found another investor to replace Mody.
On the tape, Jefferson gets angry, unleashing a profanity-laced tirade on Jackson, saying that he wanted to stay with Mody, who had agreed to pay $3.5 million in the deal.
In another profane passage, Jefferson noted that Mody put up money. Lori isnt stupid. Shes going to file suit, Jefferson said.
Jefferson feared that a lawsuit would expose him in the deal, Jackson told the jury. Jackson has completed two years of a seven-year sentence after pleading guilty to bribing an elected official who he says is Jefferson.
The New Orleans Democrat, who lost reelection in November, has pleaded innocent to 16 public corruption charges including bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering. Prosecutors allege that he used his congressional influence to promote projects in West Africa in return for payments to companies operated by family members.
Attorneys for Jefferson say he acted as a private businessman in the arrangements and committed no official acts for the companies such as appropriating government money, voting or introducing legislation that could aid them.
Mody eventually approached the FBI after saying that she lost the $3.5 million in the deal. She became a cooperating witness and was the one who gave Jefferson $100,000 of marked FBI bills in a briefcase. Agents found $90,000 in his Washington home freezer during a raid in August 2005.
Jacksons company developed a product that could transmit voice, data and video over copper telephone wire. Jackson said Thursday that a Nigerian business owner who was to partner with Mody alerted him that officials in the country were considering using a similar product from China.
In a taped call, Suleiman Yahyah of Rosecom calls Jackson in a panic telling him that Jefferson has to reach out to the then vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar. Abubakar governed communication issues in the country, including holding the final word over which projects moved forward, according to Jackson.
Abubakar has denied any wrongdoing.
The congressman has to move in and move in fast, Yahyah told Jackson.
Jackson relayed the concerns to Jefferson, who said he intended to meet with Abubakar when the vice president came to Washington on July 18, 2005. Jefferson said he would rather meet with Abubakar in person and warned Jackson about using the telephone to talk about the matters.
Its very hard to call to people on the phone about all these issues, Jefferson said.
Jackson never said whether Jefferson held the meeting, which would have taken place two weeks before the raid. Prosecutors allege that it was Abubakar to whom Jefferson intended to give the $100,000 as a bribe.
Earlier in the week, Jackson said he paid a company owned by Jeffersons wife, Andrea, $330,000 though she did no work for him. Under cross examination by Jeffersons lead attorney, Robert Trout, Jackson acknowledged that the Jefferson raised $900,000 for the company by finding investors. The couple even gave Jackson $25,000 to meet his Christmas payroll, Jackson testified.
Jackson will remain on the witness stand under cross examination when the Alexandria, Va. trial continues on Monday.
Maybe he’ll find out why they call it “the pokey”...
acksons company developed a product that could transmit voice, data and video over copper telephone wire. Jackson said Thursday that a Nigerian business owner who was to partner with Mody alerted him that officials in the country were considering using a similar product from China. ...
Thanks for the post/
I still haven't stopped laughing...
I think Willie and Looter are cousins, actually. LOL
Since they are having the trial in DC, wouldn’t suprise me if he gets off with a hung jury!
“Jacksons company developed a product that could transmit voice, data and video over copper telephone wire.”
I seriously doubt they “developed” that, maybe copied it.
I did that back in the ‘90s, Intel and others have tried since.
Continuous phone cable was a piece of cake, we tried 120V AC powerline stuff, didn’t work - mostly radiation. Can’t get around the breaker box.