Jesse Jackson and wife Sandra plead guilty to fraud

By Catherine Silver,

Former Illinois representative Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, pled guilty to criminal charges of fraud on Wednesday.

Jackson admitted to using $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, such as a Rolex watch and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

CNN reports that Jackson stated, while dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief, “Guilty, your honor. I used monies that should have been used for campaign purposes.”

When U.S District Judge Robert Wilkins asked the tearful Jackson if he recognized that he was giving up his right to a trial, Jackson said he did not wish to waste the taxpayers’ time or money.

Jackson, 47, will be sentenced on June 28th and could serve five years of prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to the Boston Herald, Jackson’s wife, Sandra, pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns that involved a failure to declare more than $600,000 in income from mid-2006 to mid-October of 2011. Jackson’s wife will be sentenced on July 1st, and faces up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The couple were formerly powerful players in the Chicago political scene. Jesse Jackson Jr. had resigned a few weeks after he was re-elected as a Democratic congressman due to bipolar disorder and other issues. Sandra Jackson also stepped down from her position as Alderman in January.

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