The William Jefferson Chronicles

Long list of legal problems face Jefferson family
Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News

The money laundering trial against Gwendolyn Moyo wrapped up with a conviction against the bond broker. The trial, however, brought up even more questions about Congressman William Jefferson and members of his family.

And as Jefferson aims to win his bid for re-election as Louisiana's 2nd District Representative, he has much more to worry about than a strong push from challenger Helena Moreno.

The indicted congressman is the focus of a federal corruption investigation, with a trial in Northern Virginia looming.

"William Jefferson is charged with a whole series of charges that range from obstruction of justice to much more serious charges that implicate bribery," said Harry Rosenberg, legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney.

Rosenberg says while the congressman's case grabs the most headlines, it's only a strand in a tangled legal web involving other members of the Jefferson family.

"They've almost become full-time defendants. I mean, we have a number of different criminal prosecutions in different federal courts involving different members of the Jefferson family that's going to span several months," Rosenberg said.

Two of the congressman's siblings are under fire.

Mose Jefferson is accused of paying bribes for school board contracts, while both Mose and Betty Jefferson are charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from charities they controlled.

Betty's daughter, Angela Coleman, is also charged in that case.

"It's very unusual to see any sitting congressman charged, first of all, but to see the number of family members that are at least implicated in alleged criminal wrongdoing is certainly way beyond the norm," Rosenberg said.

Over the last few days, prosecutors brought up William and Betty Jefferson's names during the money laundering case of Gwendolyn Moyo.

Moyo was found guilty on all fraud charges, and the problems for the Jeffersons go even deeper.

"Beyond that, at a whole secondary level, you have individual family members such as Congressman Jefferson's wife and others, who have been prominently named in criminal proceedings as either conduits or people who have assisted in alleged criminal wrongdoing," Rosenberg said.

With multiple trials scheduled in the coming months, for the Jeffersons, the heat is on.

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