jefferson-cp-7124401

Former Louisiana Representative William Jefferson walks to federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday. ((Kevin Wolf/Associated Press))

A federal court jury in suburban Washington, D.C., has convicted a former Louisiana congressman on 11 of 16 counts including bribery in a case in which agents found $90,000 US in his freezer.

Former Democratic Representative William Jefferson is accused of accepting more than $400,000 in bribes and seeking millions more in exchange for brokering business deals in Africa between 2000 and 2005. 

He had represented parts of New Orleans for 18 years until his defeat in 2008.

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.