Sister, niece of ex-La. congressman plead guilty

Posted: 02/26/2010 06:32 AM EST

NEW ORLEANS – The sister of former U.S. Congressman William Jefferson and her daughter have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Betty Jefferson and her daughter Angela Coleman admitted Thursday they used political offices and nonprofit groups they controlled to enrich themselves over the course of seven years.

The deal worked out with federal prosecutors allows Jefferson, a 70-year-old New Orleans assessor, and her 53-year-old daughter to avoid a trial that would have started next month.

In a separate case, William Jefferson is out on bond appealing a 13-year federal prison sentence for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa.

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