Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson Convicted in Freezer Cash Case

Jury convicts former congressman William Jefferson. Get verdict details.

Posted: 08/05/2009 05:27 PM EDT

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (AP) — A jury in suburban Washington has convicted a former U.S. congressman on 11 of 16 counts including bribery in a case in which agents found $90,000 in his freezer.

Former Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana is accused of accepting more than $400,000 in bribes and seeking millions more in exchange for brokering business deals in Africa. He is a Democrat who had represented parts of New Orleans.

The jury deliberated five days before returning the verdict Wednesday. It was an eight-week trial.

Jefferson's attorneys say he was acting as a private business consultant and his actions did not constitute bribery under federal law.

In August 2005, FBI agents searched Jefferson's Washington home and found the cash in his freezer, wrapped in foil and hidden in boxes of frozen pie crust.