Jesse Jackson, Jr. Admits Misusing Funds

By: From CNN.com
By: From CNN.com


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal prosecutors on Friday filed a plea agreement reached with former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in which he admitted to the misuse of about $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and gifts.

The document indicates the Illinois Democrat purchased a variety of luxury items, including furs and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Campaign credit cards were used to purchase $582,772 for personal expenses, according to the document. Prosecutors contend Jackson and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, tried to conceal conversion of the money for personal benefit.

Among the more expensive items listed are a gold-plated Rolex watch valued at more than $43,000 that Jackson purchased for himself. He also purchased nearly $9,600 worth of children's furniture with campaign funds, the court document says. More than $5,000 in fur capes and parkas were bought from Beverly Hills, the prosecutors said.

If convicted, according to the document, Jesse Jackson Jr. will forfeit $750,000 and a list of specific property that had been purchased. That includes a Michael Jackson hat valued at $3,900; a Michael Jackson fedora, valued at $4,600; a football signed by U.S. presidents, worth $5,000; the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia, totaling more than $10,000; and many other items from Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee collections.

Jackson will not have to appear in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia until his case is assigned to a judge, who will set a date to take Jackson's plea.

Officials say it will be up to that judge to determine whether Jackson will serve any prison time. Under applicable federal laws, he could receive only probation or up to a theoretical maximum of five years.

Sandra Jackson was referred to as a conspirator in the charges against her husband. She was identified not by name but by title as manager for the campaign to re-elect Jesse Jackson Jr., beginning in 2011.

Federal investigators charged Jackson's wife with filing false federal income tax returns for the couple from 2006 through 2011.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Jackson said, "Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties. Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it my hope that I am remembered for things that I did right."


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