Three Jefferson Relatives Indicted

Posted June 4, 2008 at 4:21pm

A U.S. attorney in Louisiana unveiled a new indictment Wednesday against three relatives of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), alleging that the family members skimmed federal and state grant money from nonprofits that they controlled.

According to the 30-count indictment, Mose Jefferson and Betty Jefferson, the Congressman’s brother and sister, and Angela Coleman, Betty Jefferson’s daughter, set up nonprofit organizations, applied for and received grants, and then diverted funds to pay their own expenses. In several cases, the indictment alleges, the family members had the nonprofits write checks to family-owned companies that provided no services, and authorized payroll checks to ghost employees.

Mose Jefferson has been charged under a previous indictment of bribing a local school board official to ensure her support for an educational product he was selling.

The indictment does not name William Jefferson, and it is not clear whether he had any involvement in or knowledge of the scheme. The indictment does include references to other unnamed family members who were involved in the alleged conspiracy.