Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife Sandi are planning on pleading guilty to federal charges that they misused $750,000 in campaign funds and understated their income on tax returns for six years.
He was charged today with one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine among other penalties.
The Democrat from Chicago allegedly used the funds for his personal use.
Some of the things Jackson Jr. purchased with the money include a $43,350 men’s gold-plated Rolex watch, $5,150 in fur capes and parkas, $9.588 in children’s furniture, $10,105 on Bruce Lee memorabilia, $11,130 on Martin Luther King memorabilia and $22,700 on Michael Jackson items.
He also did not report $28,500 in loans and gifts he received.
“He has accepted responsibility for his actions and I can confirm that he intends to plead guilty to the charge in the information,” Jackson Jr.’s attorney said.
His wife, Sandi Jackson, allegedly filed incorrect joint tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011, reporting “substantially less than the amount of income she and her husband received in each of the calendar years.”
She has pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud.
On Nov. 21, Jackson Jr. resigned from the House of Representatives due to poor health and ongoing federal probes into his activities. He said he was doing his best to pay for his “mistakes.”
In a statement, he 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 is my hope that I am remembered for the things that I did right.”
He also told the Chicago Tribune editorial board that he apologized to “my absolute best friend, my wife.”