Jun 04 2006

Lawmakers And Legal Loopholes

Published by at 9:58 pm under All General Discussions

Which kind of person is best suited to device a scheme to make boat loads of illegal cash that would go undetected by law enforcement entities? Those who write the laws of course:

But as that controversy subsides, the focus has shifted back to Jefferson and the corporate labyrinth that federal authorities say he erected to secretly receive illegal payments for promoting high-tech ventures in Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria.

For Jefferson, 59, the money-making schemes were supposed to be all in the family, involving his wife, two brothers, five daughters and two sons-in-law. As a member of the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee, Jefferson has traveled repeatedly to Nigeria and other western African countries and met with their leaders.

Jefferson’s secretive business negotiations have already yielded guilty pleas from one business partner, Vernon L. Jackson, and a former top aide, Brett M. Pfeffer. Both have confessed to conspiring to bribe the congressman. Jackson admitted giving Jefferson more than $400,000 in exchange for using his official position to promote high-tech business ventures in Africa.


In 2000, that caught the attention of Jackson, whose company, iGate Inc., sold technology to deliver high-speed Internet access over ordinary copper wires. Jefferson saw the technology as a way for poor West African countries to skip the huge investments needed to install fiber optic cables or wireless relay stations, court records show.

Side note here. There are many ways to avoid the laying of fiber optics. Wireless relay stations are not that expensive (so that is just journalistic naivette’ at work). Other than cell towers, there are satellites. A regional satellite system, like Thuraya, can create a very capable communications network and bring an entire country rapidly into the modern world. So don’t buy into these lame excuses. This was greed, plain and simple.

At first, Jefferson promoted iGate’s technology without asking for anything in return. But in early 2001, according to court documents, he informed Jackson that his services would no longer be free. On Jan. 19 of that year, the Jefferson family started the ANJ Group, with Jefferson’s wife, Andrea Green Jefferson, as manager, and his five daughters listed as company members.

On Rep. Jefferson’s instructions, court records show, ANJ was to receive $7,500 a month in consulting fees from iGate, along with 5 percent of gross sales over $5 million a year, 5 percent of capital investments in iGate secured by Jefferson and 1 million shares of the company.

You know who else this reminds me of?  Tom Daschle and his lobbyist wife.  Face it. We have had Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham and Harry Reid getting things for free us ‘little people’ could never hope for. These people are crooks, and they look the other way when their cohorts are caught.  We don’t need or deserve this kind of ‘leadership’.  Kids today must think sex with a young employee, illegal payments due to powers of position and out and out lying are acceptable because our nations leaders have all done the same thing and never once felt or showed shame.  It is amazing the country hasn’t already rotted out from these ‘role models’.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Lawmakers And Legal Loopholes”

  1. Rob says:

    People who think that honest government is critical in dealing with the challenges of our changing world and the war on terror, are insenced at what Rep Jefferson, Harry Reid and for that matter Randy Cunningham have done. They all belong in jail. To have the House of Represenatives as an institution defending this corruption is frankly frightening.

  2. MerryJ1 says:

    The mention of Randy Cunningham reminded me: In the campaign to elect his replacement, the California Democrat was caught on tape telling an audience member, who let it be known she (or he?) had “no legal papers but would like to help” that legal papers were not necessary to vote.

    The Republican candidate is making pretty good use of the boner.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    As I touched on a while back as to the Jefferson situation, the crux of his problem is choice of venue.
    If Jefferson had chosen to leave congress for K street, this would be a non story. Most lobby firms work like the lawyer model, cash retainer and hourly basis billing systems.

    Still it is not unheard of to see side deals like AJ has described as an alternative compensation methods by startup ventures that don’t have the present up front hard cash to compensate lobby firms.

    If Jefferson had been on K Street and not done something illegal in his interactions with our elected representatives, this would be a non issue.

    Just goes to show hubris can take many forms.

    As a friend of my used to say “Poor Prior Planning leads to Pi** Poor Performance”. Thus showing his talent for alliteration.