NEW ORLEANS (AP) A brother, sister and niece of indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson were charged Wednesday with pocketing more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money intended for charitable and educational projects.
A federal grand jury indicted New Orleans tax assessor Betty Jefferson, her brother, Mose Jefferson, and her daughter, Angela Coleman, on charges that include federal program fraud, identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the family members used several nonprofit and for-profit companies to obtain grants designed to help pregnant teens, at-risk youths and others in need of assistance. They allegedly deposited some of the grant money into personal checking accounts and used it for personal expenses.
Rep. Jefferson, 61, a nine-term Louisiana Democrat, was indicted last year on bribery charges. He is awaiting a trial in Virginia and has denied wrongdoing. The congressman wasn't named in Wednesday's indictment and faces a re-election campaign this fall.