U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from his congressional seat Wednesday amid health concerns and a federal investigation of misusing campaign funds. (Photo : Reuters)
Former US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. will be sentenced to prison on Jun. 28 after pleading guilty to charges related to misusing campaign funds. On Wednesday, the former Democratic congressman wept before a federal judge and his family, including iconic civil rights leader Jesse Jackson as he confessed to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud for his use of $750,000 in campaign funds for personal items including a gold-plated Rolex watch, memorabilia by pop legend Michael Jackson, fur capes, expensive furniture and a $5,000 football signed by American presidents.
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Jackson told U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins, "Sir, for years I lived off my campaign," adding "I used money I shouldn't have used for personal purposes," before the court. Reports say that he often looked at his family and mouthed the words "I'm sorry."
Jackson is expected to receive a sentence between 46 and 57 months. He is also expected to pay criminal penalties between $10,000 and $100,000 and will no longer have the right to vote.
Jackson's wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, also appeared before Judge Wilkins and pleaded guilty to a one count of filing a false tax return. She wept at times as he reviewed her plea agreement during the court hearing. After the plea hearing her attorney Dan Webb said today's plea allows her to accept responsibility for her action and move forward with her life.
"It's not a proud day. I'm sorry I let everybody down," said Jackson leaving the courthouse.