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Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release Wednesday for spending almost $750,000 of his campaign fund for personal use. His wife, Sandra Jackson, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and one year of supervised release for not reporting an almost $60,000 income in their tax return.
Jackson, who in the past was an important leader for the Democratic Party and even considered running for Mayor of Chicago, allegedly used his campaign money on luxury items and the renovation of his home.
Jackson, 48, was a member of Congress from 2007-2012 but after being re-elected in November for the ninth time, he resigned and claimed it was because he suffers from bipolar disorder. Sandra Jackson, 49, served as alderman from 2007-2013.
According to the NY Times, Jackson plead guilty in February to felony fraud and his wife plead guilty to one felony count of filing false tax returns. His attorneys claim severe depression and bipolar disorder caused him to commit these crimes, but prosecutors did not agree.
The couple asked the judge if they could serve their sentences at different times so that their two children, ages 9 and 13, never had to be without parents. The judge granted that request, Christian Science Monitor reports.
“My heart breaks every day with the pain this has caused my babies,” said Ms. Jackson.