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Court Rejects Jefferson Motion To Dismiss RICO Charges

A Virginia court has dismissed a motion by embattled Rep. William Jefferson to dismiss the racketeering charges against him.

Jefferson is facing a 16-count federal criminal indictment, accusing him of seeking bribes for businesses run by family members.

The trial is set to start in December.

Earlier this week, Jefferson tried to argue that the racketeering charges in the indictment should be dismissed “for failure to state an offense and because the statute is unconstitutionally vague,” however a judge denied the motion.

According to Roll Call, the order denying Jefferson’s request asserts that the charge does in fact allege two instances of racketeering in accordance with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and that it satisfactorily alleges the bribery and wire fraud offenses.

Judge T. S. Ellis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia rejected Jefferson’s reasoning on why he, his staff members and his Congressional offices could not be considered a RICO enterprise, Roll Call reported.