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Jefferson Allowed Free on Appeal

By Eileen Fleming

New Orleans, La. – Judge T.S. Ellis last week sentenced Jefferson to 13 years in prison, the longest term ever handed a congressman for corruption. But he said the appeals court has not explored Jefferson's argument that his business deals in Africa were not part of his public duties. FBI officials seized $90-thousand dollars in cash from a freezer in Jefferson's home in Washington, D.C. He was seen on a video shot during a government sting taking a suitcase full of cash from a Virginia businesswoman, supposedly for a Nigerian official. Jefferson's attorneys had asked that he be allowed to remain free at least through the holidays. Ellis' ruling means Jefferson won't serve any prison time for at least a year. For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans

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