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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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The Chicago power couple who pled guilty to using some $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses and at times a lavish lifestyle are preparing for sentencing.

In recent days, letters have been filed with the U.S. district court in Washington D.C.  Some are asking for leniency, others are asking the judge to bring down the hammer on former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife Sandi, the ex-alderman.

The two were last seen publicly in February as they entered a Washington courthouse together to accept responsibility for using campaign money to live off of; to buy furs, television sets, trips for themselves and their kids and so much more. The bills totaled around $750,000 dollars.

The latest batch of letters submitted to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, no relation to the defendants,  were on Sandi’s behalf, many of the handwritten notes were from children.

All the letters are intended for the sentencing judge to consider as Jackson Jr potentially faces 4-5 years in prison. His wife faces one to two years with the hopes of getting probation instead.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. could be facing more troubles after he failed to file required campaign finance documents.

The federal election commission has warned his campaign that they failed to file a disclosure report when he left office last November.

Jackson has not filed the papers or asked for an extension.

He could face a fine up to $50,000 for failing to do so.

Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced July 1 for misusing campaign funds.

A judge in the case has released more than a dozen letters that have been submitted on Jackson’s behalf for that sentence hearing.

One of them comes from his former colleague, Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.

She writes, “Jesse was the highlight of our karaoke nights and always made everyone feel like an integral part of, and not apart from, various activities.”

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who in pleaded guilty to a years-long spending binge involving more than $750,000 in campaign dollars, has a new sentencing date: July 1st.

It`s the same day his wife. former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, will be sentenced on a related tax felony.

Both defendants are to appear before Judge Amy Berman Jackson — no relation — in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Under sentencing guidelines, Jackson Jr. faces up to almost five years in prison; his wife faces up to one to two years.

The Jacksons are Democrats who resigned from their jobs before their guilty pleas.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.


A new judge has been seated to sentence former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi.

Judge Amy Jackson, no relation, once defended another convicted Congressman, Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, against charges of official corruption.

The Jacksons admitted looting the Congressman’s campaign fund to support a lavish lifestyle, and not reporting it to the IRS.

Jackson could get five years in prison; his wife could get two years.

Movers were in and out of the Jesse Jackson Jr south side office this morning at 71st and Yates.
Jackson was re-elected back in November but resigned just weeks later.
He has since pleaded guilty to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash for personal items.
Sources tell us, Jackson is pretty much staying confined to his Washington town house working on a book waiting for a June sentencing.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is speaking out about his son’s guilty plea to federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

The younger Jackson, who is the former U.S. Representative from Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, admitted in court to misusing campaign funds.

His father tells CNN it’s a tough matter for the family to deal with.  “It is a very painful moment.  It’s a sad chapter.  Perhaps not the last chapter.  He has been quite contrite, accepted his responsibility, did not lean on his sickness, his bipolar disorder, which has been considerable.  He said I faced the consequences of my decisions and I think he’s standing up with dignity, fighting these odds.  I love him so much and still very proud of him yet.”

Jesse Jackson, Jr. will be sentenced in June.  The judge suggested both the prosecutor and defense may recommend a sentence lighter than the maximum five years.

His wife, Sandi Jackson, pleaded guilty last week to filing federal tax returns.  She will be sentenced in July.

Jesse Jackson Jr was out of public sight for months but sources say he was writing a book.

Sources tell WGN there are stacks of typed paper in his Washington, D.C. home and he’s been spending many hours writing.

The Chicago Tribune reports sources are also saying they’ve seen drafts of what are Jackson Jr’s memoirs as he tries to quote, clear up his legacy.

Jackson Jr’s will be sentenced June 28th after pleading guilty to spending campaign dollars on personal items.

With his son pleading guilty to using campaign funds for hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenses, Rev. Jesse Jackson told WGN Friday that he’s proud of the way his son Jesse Jackson Jr. is facing up to his misdeeds.

Jackson did not comment on his daughter-in-law — former alderman Sandi Jackson — who also pleaded guilty on Wednesday, to filing false income tax statements.

But sources tell WGN that Rev. Jackson has spoken to extended family members about supporting Sandi through the ordeal.

Voters in the 2nd District and 7th Ward are not taking the Jacksons’ guilty pleas well.
Hearing both their former alderman and former congressman pleading guilty to using campaign cash to fund such frivolous purchases as Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson memorabilia makes they feel betrayed, some say.
Some are still waiting for an apology. They say they feel like that have been slapped in the face and betrayed by a powerful family they trusted and supported.
WGN’s Tom Negovan spoke with voters in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood about today’s news.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife former alderman Sandi Jackson appeared in federal court today and both plead guilty to misuse of campaign funds.

It was a full day in court; two defendants, two different court appearances, one family. Not just any family.  The son of the Rev Jesse Jackson and his wife.

Their fall from grace was a far one.  Both of them wept in the courtroom today as they admitted to the nation they are guilty of breaking the law.

“I’m sorry I let everybody down,” Jackson Jr said.

Once a congressman planning a powerful political career, today, Jackson Jr was a defendant in a criminal case planning for prison. He and his wife Sandi entered the federal courthouse in Washington together.  His father the Rev Jesse Jackson along with his mother and siblings were by his side.jacksons-court

A gaunt and emotionally fragile looking Jackson Jr made his first real public appearance in more than nine months. He wept on and off throughout the proceedings and told the judge he was aware of the gravity of the hearing and the charges against him totaling $750,000.

“For years, I’ve lived off my campaign,” Jackson told Judge Robert Wilkins. “I took money that should’ve been used for the campaign and used it for personal purposes.”

And he admits he took alot. It is the largest case of its kind, said the US attorney in Washington DC with over 3100 transactions in 7 years.


  • Clubs/restaurants: $60,857
  • Airfare: $31,700
  • Tobacco Shops: $17,000
  • Home renovation: $26,000
  • $8,000 on 2 wild Elk Heads.
  • $12,000 spent at Best Buy:
  • $15,000 at ABT electronics  and  more.
  • Costco, Ticketmaster, Build-a-Bear

The total charged to Jackson Jr’s campaign credit card: $583,000.

“It turns out that Jesse has serious health issues. those health issues are directly related to his present predicament. That’s not an excuse, that’s just a fact,” said Jackson’s attorney Reid Weingarten.

Sandi Jackson had her day in court, too, shaking her head and wiping tears as tax fraud charges were read aloud. In a little voice she told the court she pleads “guilty.”

Jackson Jr is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.  Sandi to be sentenced July 1.