WASHINGTON (CN) – A guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen is likely a forgery and cannot be auctioned to satisfy the fraud committed by former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., the U.S. Marshals Service revealed.
The guitar had been one of several items that would supposedly settle a forfeiture action Jackson faced for defrauding his re-election campaigns.
Jackson, the son of the famous civil rights activist, had represented Illinois’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until his resignation in 2012. He pleaded guilty to the fraud earlier this year and was sentenced last month to 30 months in prison.
The $750,000 forfeiture was to include a mink cashmere cape; a mink reversible parka; and celebrity and historic memorabilia.
An auction of the forfeited assets was canceled Friday, however, with the U.S. Marshals Service on Friday noting that it had received “legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Marshals Service will conduct a secondary review of all the assets,” it said in a statement. “Once the review is complete, a decision will be made whether to repost any assets for sale by auction.”
Evidence showed that the Jackson’s fraud scheme ran from August 2005 through April 2012.
In trying to conceal the illegal activities, Jackson filed false and misleading reports with the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements.
Jackson’s wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty in a separate proceeding to filing false tax returns for her role in the scheme.
Prosecutors said Jackson’s wife worked on the re-election campaigns as a treasurer from about January 2005 to about November 2006; a consultant from at least 2008 to about November 2012; and a campaign manager since 2011.
A statement on their plea in February made reference to a congressional staffer referred to only as “Person A” whom Rep. Jackson provided with campaign funds to benefit his family.
This staffer worked as an assistant treasurer for the campaign from about January 2005 through about November 2006; a treasurer from about January 2007 through about June 2008; and a staff member for Jackson’s Washington, D.C., congressional office, starting in or around June 2008.
Jackson’s father, the Baptist minister Jesse Jackson Sr., had served as a shadow U.S. senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination unsuccessfully in 1984 and 1989.
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