Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Embattled Congressman's Wife Alleges Ownership of Funds Sought under Forfeiture Order

The wife of former Representative William Jefferson, convicted in August in federal court on 11 counts of corruption (see here), is alleging ownership of the proceeds of certain assets the government has sought to seize as restitution for the Congressman's crimes under Louisiana's community property rules.

Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled in November that Jefferson, who was convicted on 11 of 16 corruption charges, must forfeit $470,653 the government says he obtained through the illegal activities at the core of the guilty verdicts.

David Smith, Andrea Jefferson's attorney, said because Louisiana is a community property state, a spouse is entitled to half her mate's assets.

Smith said the Justice Department has already agreed to let Andrea Jefferson keep half the $380,000 in the former congressman's thrift savings account that the government has sought under the forfeiture order. But Smith said Andrea Jefferson also wants half the $15,000 deposited in a bank account for the Nigerian telecommunications project her husband championed and half the proceeds of a buyout agreement from William Jefferson's former New Orleans law firm. The buyout amount is a $200,000, according to a bankruptcy filing by the couple.

I suspect the $90,000 the feds found in Jefferson's home freezer is community property also!

Read the full story here.


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