(CNN) – The jury in the corruption trial of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was expected to begin deliberating by midday Thursday, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, said.
Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III began giving jurors their instructions about 9:45 a.m., said Peter Carr. Closing arguments by defense and prosecution attorneys ended Wednesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Jefferson on June 4, 2007, on corruption charges after federal agents said they found $90,000 in his freezer. Authorities said the money was part of a payment in marked bills from an FBI informant in a transaction captured on video.
Jefferson, 62, was accused of using his office to solicit and receive more than $500,000 in bribes for himself and his family in exchange for promoting products and services to countries in Africa.
The Democrat pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Carr said Jefferson could face a maximum sentence of up to 235 years in prison, if convicted.
The trial began June 9 with the questioning of a large pool of potential jurors.
Jefferson represented parts of New Orleans for 18 years, nine terms, before he lost his House seat in the December 2008 election.