Mary Tutwiler

Jefferson sister pleads guilty in money skimming scam

by Mary Tutwiler

A guilty plea by Brenda Jefferson to concealing knowledge of her relative’s phony charity scam comes on the heels of an announcement by her brother, indicted U.S. Representative William Jefferson, that he will run for a 10th term in office . The youngest sister of the Congressman will cooperate with a federal investigation that is probing a scheme by her older sister, 4th District Assessor Betty Jefferson, her brother, Mose Jefferson; and Angela Coleman, her niece. The Jefferson family is charged with creating charities to aid inner city youths in New Orleans, then pocketing more than $600,000 in federal grants.

While having his family making headlines for alleged criminal behavior should not bode well for the lawmaker, Jefferson fended off challengers for the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2006 although he was under federal investigation himself for bribery. Rep. Jefferson pled not guilty to the bribery charges. Fall congressional elections will take place several months before Jefferson’s trial, which is scheduled for December 2, 2008.