News and Press Releases


August 31, 2011

BETTY JEFFERSON, age 72, a former elected tax assessor for the 4th Municipal District of Orleans Parish, and a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to fifteen (15) months of home confinement and five years of supervised release. Additionally, JEFFERSON was ordered to pay $604,581 in restitution to the state. On February 25, 2010, JEFFERSON had entered a guilty plea to a Superseding Bill of Information that charged her with a conspiracy to commit Mail Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, Money Laundering, and Tax Evasion. JEFFERSON has agreed to forfeit her house to the government.

According to the court documents supporting JEFFERSON’s guilty plea, JEFFERSON, her now-deceased brother, MOSE JEFFERSON, her daughter, ANGELA COLEMAN, who also has entered a guilty plea, former New Orleans City Councilmember and State Representative RENEE GILL PRATT, and others participated in a scheme to obtain money and property for their financial and political benefit both directly and through the use of various non-profit entities and for-profit companies, as well as the elected offices of the State Representative’s Office for District 91, the City Councilmember’s Office for District B, and the Office of Tax Assessor for the 4th Municipal District of Orleans Parish and Mose Jefferson.

As part of a plea/cooperation agreement with the United States, BETTY JEFFERSON testified twice in the matter of United States v. Renee Gill Pratt. JEFFERSON’s co-conspirator, RENEE GILL PRATT, was convicted last month by a federal jury of Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).

BETTY JEFFERSON faced a possible maximum sentence of five (5) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three (3) years supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Daniel P. Friel, Brian P. Marcelle, and Fred P. Harper, Jr.





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