Former La. congressman to begin prison sentence

April 20, 2012 - 10:25 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former Louisiana congressman convicted of taking bribes will have to begin serving a 13-year prison sentence within two weeks.

Democrat William Jefferson was convicted in 2009 but has been free on bond while appealing his case. The case drew headlines when FBI agents found $90,000 cash hidden in Jefferson's freezer.

Last month, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., upheld all but one of the 11 counts on which Jefferson was convicted. At a status hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria, the judge ordered Jefferson to turn himself in to U.S. Marshals by May 4 to serve the sentence.

The judge is recommending Jefferson serve his time at a prison camp near New Orleans.

Jefferson's lawyer said an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is under consideration.