Prison Time for Jesse Jackson Jr. and His Wife

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison defrauding his re-election campaigns, and his wife will serve one year for the cover-up.
     The son of the famous civil rights activist, Jackson had represented Illinois’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until his resignation in 2012.
     Jackson, 48, admitted in a February 2013 plea deal that the funds he diverted from his campaign went toward personal expenses, including jewelry, fur capes and parkas, high-end electronics, celebrity memorabilia, furniture, kitchen appliances and a home renovation project.
     In trying to conceal seven years of 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, 49, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty in a separate proceeding to filing false tax returns for her role in the scheme.
     While the charge to which Jackson pleaded guilty was punishable by five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, prosecutors said the agreed applicable range is 46 to 57 months in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000.
     His wife faced up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, but the government put the applicable range for her offense under federal sentencing guidelines at 18 to 24 months in prison and a fine between $4,000 and $40,000.
     Prosecutors made no mention of a fine against either Jackson in announcing the sentence Wednesday.
     Back in February, they said Jackson Jr.’s plea requires him to pay any court-ordered restitution and forfeit about $750,000 in proceeds and property from the scheme.
     “Among other items, he must forfeit a mink cashmere cape; a mink reversible parka; a guitar signed by pop legend Michael Jackson; and various memorabilia associated with historic figures and various celebrities,” prosecutors said in February.
     Evidence showed that the Jackson’s fraud scheme ran from August 2005 through April 2012.
     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.
     The February statement 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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