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Jesse Jackson Jr., wife Sandi plead guilty to federal charges

A federal judge sentenced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to 30 months, or 2-and-a-half years, in prison for misuse of campaign funds.

His wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, was sentenced to 12 months for tax fraud.

In late November 2012, Jackson Jr. resigned from his Illinois Congressional seat in the second district. In January, Sandi Jackson stepped down from her position at Chicago’s 7th Ward alderman.

Both pleaded guilty in February.

On October 29, Jesse Jackson Jr. entered a minimum security prison in North Carolina to begin serving his sentence.

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Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has missed another deadline to report his campaign finances.

The federal election commission has sent a third warning to Jackson’s campaign.

Jackson still has leftover campaign money and FEC records show his camp has not filed a full disclosure since December.

The commission is trying to determine if Jackson is using the money to cover his legal bills.

If the reports are not filed he could face an audit, a civil money penalty, or legal action.

Jackson was convicted this year of stealing $750,000 from his campaign fund.

He’ll be sentenced next week.

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who faces a possible prison term when he is sentenced Aug. 14, has told government lawyers that he will “make his best efforts” to satisfy a $750,000 forfeiture he owes within the next 90 to 180 days, a court filing today said.

Jackson, 48, a 17-year veteran of Congress who quit last fall, looted his campaign treasury of about $750,000 and spent the money on luxury goods, celebrity memorabilia, mounted elk heads and other items.

The court filing did not disclose how Jackson will come up with the money.

Together, prosecutors and defense lawyers in today’s filing have asked a judge to temporarily stay – or stop – until Oct. 25 a ruling on an earlier request by the government seeking to seize Jackson Jr.’s interest in his two homes, one in Chicago and one in Washington, and as well as a financial account he has.

Jackson, the filing added, “will update the government frequently on hs progress (toward fulfilling the obligation) throughout that time period.”

His wife, Sandi Jackson, 49, a former Chicago alderman, will be sentenced the same day for failing to report about $600,000 in income on the couple’s tax returns.

Federal prosecutors want Jackson Jr. sentenced to four years in prison and his wife to 18 months in prison. Defense lawyers have asked for leniency, in his case because they say he suffers from severe depression and bipolar disorder and in her case, because they say the Jacksons’ children, ages 9 and 13, need their mother.

When the Jacksons pleaded guilty in February to one felony each, he agreed to pay a $750,000 forfeiture and she agreed to make restitution totaling $168,550.

The two defendants will be sentenced before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, no relation, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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The new sentencing date for Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife had been rescheduled for August 14th.

According to a court filing,  he will be sentence on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:30 before Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

His wife Sandie, will be sentenced later that same day at 10:30 a.m.

Yesterday it was announced that the original sentence date, July 3rd, had been postponed.

The former congressman pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds and faces up to four years in prison.

Sandi, the former alderman, faces 18-months for filing false tax returns.

The sentencing of Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife Sandi have been postponed from Wednesday to a date to be named later.

U.S. attorneys say it won’t be this week.

Prosecutors: 4-year sentence for Jackson Jr., 18 months for wifeThe judge wrote that the change is being made to accommodate the court and that neither side requested it.

The former congressman pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds and faces up to four years in prison.

His wife, the former alderman, faces 18-months for filing false tax returns.

Given the circumstances, attempting to seize Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s house is not an unusual move. Convicted of looting his own campaign fund, Jackson owes the government $1.5 million. Prosecutors are just making sure his assets are secure, but in doing so, they offer a strong reminder of all he did wrong.

Already convicted of using campaign cash to go on a wild spending spree, Jackson has agreed to hand over some of the things he bought. Mostly furs and celebrity memorabilia, the 24 items in total put just a small dent in the $750,000 in forfeitures plus that much again in restitution he has to pay. And in the prosecution’s latest court filing, there were some strong words about how far this prominent family went wrong.

Jackson’s house in the South Shore and the other family home in Washington were both owned by the couple until, prosecutors say, they were transferred to a family trust in 2008 while the Jackson’s we in the middle of their crime spree. Now the Feds want the keys to both, along with about $80,000 the ex-congressman has in an IRA.

Said legal analyst Terry Sullivan, “When the government works out something, they usually don’t have to go chasing after what the agreement was.”

The motion to seize the homes will be dealt with in federal court on Wednesday, the couple’s sentencing day. Their lawyers are asking for leniency. Prosecutors want both to do prison time.

The feds stipulate that there is a distinction between chasing assets and securing them. But there is, among some observers, another worry here: that any additional sign of impropriety, by either member of the once-powerful couple, sends a message that could resonate during next week’s sentencing.

Said Sullivan, “If you agree to something and you’re hoping to get a lenient sentence, you don’t want to have the government coming back in and saying, ‘Hey, he’s not doing what he’s supposed to be doing.’”

Jesse Jackson Jr. says if both he and his wife are going to prison, he wants to go first.

The former congressman was convicted of looting his campaign of $750,000.

He faces five years in prison at sentencing July 3.

In court filings Monday, his lawyers say Jackson and his family are living on Social Security and his federal pension, which would be suspended once he’s behind bars.

His wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson faces up to 18 months on a related tax count.

Prosecutors also filed papers Monday, rejecting the Jacksons pleas for leniency based on their good works as public officials, calling that “doing their jobs.”

Prosecutors: 4-year sentence for Jackson Jr., 18 months for wifeFormer Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife are assembling a team of lawyers for their sentencing on July 1.

Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, have put together a team of eight lawyers, including Carolyn Pelling Gurland, who was a member of the legal team for former Governor Blagojevich.

Prosectors want Jackson Jr. to receive a four-year prison term for illegally spending campaign funds on personal items and 18 months for Sandi Jackson for failing to report income on tax returns.

Federal prosecutors, in documents filed today, asked a judge to send former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, to jail. However, they don’t want to send the Jacksons to prison at the same time.

Since the couple has two children, aged 9 and 13, they suggest that the Jacksons do time behind bars at different times. Prosecutors asked that Jesse Jackson, Jr. be sentenced to four years in prison and that his wife be sentenced to 18 months.

Under the prosecutors’ scenario, Sandi would do her time first. If sentenced to a year and a half, they expect she’d be back with her children on home confinement in a little over a year, if she exhibits good behavior in prison. Then her husband would go in.

Former congressman Jackson was convicted of looting his campaign fund and going on a wild spending spree by purchasing watches, jewelry, vacations and outrageous celebrity memorabilia.

In a 45 page sentencing memo, prosecutors described a “flagrant disregard for the law” on Jackson Jr.’s part and that he “chose to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars despite having advantages in life and financial resources that few possess and that most can only dream of obtaining.”

Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to failing to report about $600,000 of income to the IRS. Along with the sentence, she’d need to pay $168,000 in restitution.

For her husband, restitution and forfeiture combined would total $1.5 million.

This sentence may cost the couple some of their possessions, like their homes in the South Shore and in Washington, DC.

Sentencing memos from their lawyers were also due today. In his, Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s team asks for a sentence on the low end, pointing to all the good he did in office, the letters of support from constituents, and the fact that he cooperated with the investigation.

Notably blacked out from the memo for all but the judge are references to Jackson, Jr.’s health problems, but the point gets made.

His lawyers stated in the memo, “Mr. Jackson’s severe depression and bipolar disorder require intense ongoing treatment. His mental health may well worsen under the stress of incarceration.”

His lawyers also note no risk of a repeat offense and no victims pleading for justice. They say the Jacksons are just a family looking at enormous consequences for its youngest members.

In the memo, his lawyers said “If Mr. Jackson is sentenced to a lengthy prison term, the effect on his children will be devastating.”

They’ll be sentenced July 3.

RELATED:

Report: Plea deal may be in the works for Jackson JrFormer Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. wants a judge to keep parts of his medical records sealed.

Jackson’s lawyers say the document has sensitive details about his medical condition, and the condition of another family member.

Jackson has been previously treated for bi-polar disorder.

He pled guilty to misusing his campaign funds and is awaiting sentencing.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr has asked a judge to keep parts of a medical record form a secret.
Jackson’s lawyers asked for the document to be sealed because it contains “personal, sensitive details about his medical condition.”
They also say the form includes information about the medical condition of another un-named family member.
Jackson has been previously treated for bipolar disorder.
He pled guilty to misusing his campaign funds and is awaiting sentencing.

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