Supreme court rejects appeal of ex-Louisiana congressman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the appeal of former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson, who had challenged his 2009 conviction on multiple charges of bribery and money laundering.

In March, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, had upheld 10 of 11 guilty counts against the former Democratic lawmaker.

A federal jury had found Jefferson guilty of soliciting bribes, money laundering and participation in a racketeering scheme. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison but remained free while pursuing an appeal.

Prosecutors accused him of soliciting millions of dollars in bribes from companies while using his office to broker ventures such as telecommunications transactions in Ghana and Nigeria, oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea, investments in a Nigerian sugar plant and satellite transmission contracts in Botswana, Equatorial Guinea the Republic of Congo.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Howard Goller and Bill Trott)

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