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Frank Thompson, Jr.
Democrat, New Jersey (1955-1980)
The Honorable Frank Thompson was one of the most powerful Democrats of his time. On February 2, 1980, two FBI agents showed up at his home. Frank, you are a target of a federal bribery investigation. That $45,000 that an Arab sheik stuffed into a briefcase and then gave to you four months earlier, well actually that was fed money and that sheik was an undercover G-man. And by the way, said the Feds, we've got it all on video tape.
Thompson denied any bribe, and said he met with the sheik because he thought it would help New Jersey economic growth.
But the Feds and the federal jury weren't buying it.
Thompson and the Honorable John M. Murphy of New York went on trial in December 1980. Thompson was convicted of bribery and conspiracy, and Murphy of a lesser charge of conspiracy.
Thompson appealed, but lost, and in 1983 was sentenced to three years in the can. He served two years, was released, and then went to work as a consultant in Washington.
Source: Paul Mickle, 1980: Sting!, Trenton Trentonian, online.