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Tag: Lori Mody

FBI Informant in Jefferson Case Sent Email to Agent Likening Herself to a “Star”

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

The defense hopes to show that then Congressman Jefferson was simply dealing with the FBI informant as a business person, not a Congressman. He’s got an uphill battle in this area. But as a defense, it’s worth a shot.

By Bruce Alpert
Washington bureau
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — In an e-mail message to the lead FBI agent in the William Jefferson corruption case, government informant Lori Mody likens herself to a “star” awaiting reviews from the critics.

The Mody e-mail, dated May 13, 2005, was sent the day after she and Jefferson shared a $1,023 dinner in which conversations were secretly recorded by the FBI. The contents of the message were provided by defense attorneys as part of a brief filed Monday.

In the filing, Jefferson’s attorneys ask Judge T.S. Ellis III for permission to play excerpts of tapes not being presented by the U.S. Justice Department in the former congressman’s trial, which entered its ninth day of testimony Monday.

During the dinner, in which Jefferson’s attorneys say “considerable amounts of wine” were consumed, Jefferson allegedly wrote on a piece of paper that he wanted an 18 percent to 20 percent share of a company Mody had created to develop a telecommunications project in Nigeria. The government has labeled that a bribe solicitation.

For Full Story

Jefferson’s Strategy: Congressman Acted As Private Citizen and Didn’t Always Tell the Truth

The second week of trial begins in the Jefferson trial. Jefferson is claiming that his business dealings were private. So far, the prosecution has presented some pretty convincing evidence that Jefferson was acting in his official capacity. In any event, with 16 counts, Jefferson has an uphill battle.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orlean Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — As William Jefferson’s corruption trial moves into its second week of testimony, the former New Orleans congressman’s defense strategy is coming into focus.

Less clear is whether Judge T.S. Ellis III will allow Jefferson’s defense team to present all of its arguments and evidence directly to the 12-member jury.

In his opening statement, Jefferson’s attorney Robert Trout left no doubt about the key element of the congressman’s defense against charges that he demanded and, in some cases, accepted bribes to aid business ventures in Western Africa.

The defense will argue that all the instances cited by the government — including many that the defense says are false or exaggerated — involved private business deals, not official acts, and therefore are not covered by the federal bribery statute.

But Trout also wants to play excerpts of secretly recorded conversations that he said show Jefferson didn’t always tell the truth during conversations with Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who wore a wire for the FBI.

For Full Story

William Jefferson Denies Taking Bribes in Old Campaign Ad

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUwmtzms0MI

Big or Small Problem? Key Witness Who Wore FBI Wire Won’t Testify in ex-Rep. Jefferson Trial

The questions that looms large: Will it hurt the prosecution not to have the testimony of key witness Lori Mody, who wore an FBI wire? Some say yes. Sure, the prosecution can still play the FBI tapes, but it would be better if Mody testified. The fact she isn’t obviously means there were some big problems going on behind the scenes.
By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

ALEXANDRIA, VA . — Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was expected to be the government’s star witness in the federal corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, will not be called to testify for the prosecution, lawyers said today.

The judge was informed of the government’s decision during a bench conference this morning that was not immediately made public. “We do not intend to call Lori Mody in our case in chief,” lead prosecutor Mark Lytle said without further explanation.

It was Mody who helped spark the investigation of Jefferson after going to the FBI in March 2005 to complain that she was the victim of fraud in African investments being promoted by the congressman. She agreed to wear a wire and the recordings of her meetings with Jefferson are at the heart of much of the government’s case.

For Full Story

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trying to Discredit Key Witness By Getting Psychiatric Records

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s defense in his upcoming public corruption case is becoming clearer. For one, he insists any of his actions to drum up business for himself was not done under the official capacity of a Congressman. And two, he plans to discredit the sanity of a key witness, Lori Mody, a wealthy business woman who wore a wire after telling the feds that she was being shaken down for cash.

Regardless whether he can prove that the witness is mentally unstable, he’s got an uphill fight in that area. The government has videotape of him taking money from Mody and audio tapes of him talking to her, sounding more like a mobster than a Congressman, acting paranoid about the FBI and trying to avoid the mere mention of the word “cash”.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — If a key government witness against former Rep. William Jefferson has “qualms” about producing mental health records and answering questions “it is the charges that must yield, ” not Jefferson’s “right to defend against them, ” his attorneys say.

Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where Jefferson is scheduled to go on trial May 26 on 16 corruption charges, also reveal previously unreleased transcripts of FBI recorded conversations with the witness, Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody. The tapes describe her as worried about a possible stalker and having “a lot of personal issues” at the time she and Jefferson worked together on a Nigerian telecommunications project.

In the papers, Jefferson’s attorneys said that at some of the meetings between Mody and the congressman “considerable amounts of wine was consumed.” They also said the Justice Department had revealed in a previously sealed document that Mody was undergoing something (the phrase is redacted by court order) that affected her ability “to concentrate.”

The attorneys said they are entitled to raise these issues to challenge the credibility of Mody, who they describe as the key witness against the nine-term New Orleans Democrat.

For Full Story

Read One of Jefferson’s Motions for Pyschiatric Records of Witness