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Attorneys say U-S Representative William Jefferson is facing legal bills that could reach two million dollars to fight complex public corruption charges that include bribery, racketeering and money laundering.

As of yesterday, the New Orleans Democrat had 136-thousand dollars in a legal defense account, a net debt in his campaign election fund and a congressional salary of 165-thousand, 200 dollars a year.

Election and white-collar defense attorneys in Washington say Jefferson's trial could last two to three months.

Evidence against him fills eight file cabinets.

Lawyers say a defense of that complexity and length easily could push Jefferson's defense costs into seven figures.

Campaign lawyer Ken Gross says the case involves a lot of witnesses and the case has a lot of tentacles.

A federal grand jury in Virginia indicted Jefferson last week on 16 counts of public corruption.

The indictment alleges Jefferson used his influence as co-chairman of the House Africa Investment Trade Caucus to broker deals in various African nations.

Jefferson maintains his innocence.


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