A plea deal involving former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. was filed in federal court Friday, in which the Illinois Democrat admitted to conspiracy and other charges related to misappropriated campaign funds.
He and a co-conspirator admitted to concealing about $750,000 in campaign funds for their personal use.
If Jackson is convicted, there a list of property that the federal government wants him to forfeit.
The government’s long list includes a $43,000 gold-plated men’s Rolex, about $9,500 worth of children’s furniture, $10,000 worth of Bruce Lee memorabilia, and $26,000+ spent on Michael Jackson mementos. All purchased, improperly, with campaign cash, the feds say that the Jacksons have admitted to it all.
In a statement, 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.”
Sandi Jackson has also been charged. The former alderman is charged with six years of understating the family’s taxes, part of what’s alleged to be a complex conspiracy to abuse campaign funds. Taking three-quarters of a million dollars off the books would not be easy to do– even with the wild expenditures alleged here: $5,000 worth of furs, another $5,000 for a signed football. It’s egregious and some observers think the feds are taking an extraordinarily light touch with Jesse Jackson Junior.
Dan Webb and Tom Kirsch, attorneys for Sandi Jackson, issued the following statement:
“Today, Sandi Jackson reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to one count of tax fraud. Ms. Jackson has accepted responsibility for her conduct, is deeply sorry for her actions, and looks forward to putting this matter behind her and her family. She is thankful for the support of her family and friends during this very difficult time.”
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson remain in the Washington, DC area, according to their lawyers. He faces up to five years in prison, she faces up to three. Although it’s considered unlikely they’d both do time. Observers note the fervent apologies from both of them today- to friends, family and supporters—in short, to everyone but the voters.
Download the court documents: