June 5, 2007
A Louisville man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to bribing Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) with more than $400,000 in payments, company stock and a share of the profits to promote the Kentucky firm's high-tech business ventures in Africa.
Vernon L. Jackson, 53, owner of Louisville-based iGate Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe and bribery in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of up to nine years for the crimes, which occurred from 2001 to 2005.
The Kentucky technology executive who has admitted bribing Louisiana Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) also made apparently legal political contributions to him and two congresswomen from California, sisters Loretta and Linda Sanchez.
Analyzing campaign finance records, the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics found that iGate, Inc. CEO Vernon L. Jackson and his wife, Sandra, contributed $26,000 to the three Democrats in 2001 and 2003.
Jefferson, who is all but named as “Representative A” in Jackson’s May 3 guilty plea, received $11,000 from the couple. Rep. Loretta Sanchez received $12,000 from the Jacksons for her re-election campaigns, and they gave $4,000 to elect her sister, Linda, to the House of Representatives. (The Jacksons gave both Sanchez sisters an additional $4,000 in contributions, but the campaigns returned the money.)