Rags to riches to prison for ex-congressman

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - William Jefferson, who rose from north Louisiana poverty to become the state's first modern era African-American congressman and one of its most powerful politicians, is expected to report to a federal prison Friday.

A federal investigation dissolved his power and turned him into a laughing stock over bribe money hidden in his freezer.

Jefferson, a Harvard-educated lawyer with a master's degree in taxation from Georgetown University, had a soft-spoken, professorial demeanor that belied his reputation as a hardball politician and money-hungry businessman.

The FBI set up a sting in 2005 after a businesswoman said she had been cheated out of $3.5 million in deals brokered by Jefferson.

He was convicted in 2009 of soliciting bribes in connection with African business deals. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

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