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Published On: Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr and wife enter ‘guilty’ plea to using $750K in campaign funds for personal use

With tears in his eyes, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife pleaded guilty to federal charges on Wednesday related to years of using campaign funds for personal expenses that included purchases of Michael Jackson memorabilia and a Rolex watch.

Jesse Jackson Jr photo

Jesse Jackson Jr photo

“Guilty, your honor,” Jackson responded to U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins, dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief after he looked back at family members in the courtroom, including his father, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

“I used monies that should have been used for campaign purposes,” Jackson, 47, acknowledged to the judge. When Wilkins asked if Jackson realized that the guilty plea meant giving up the right to a trial, he responded: “I have no interest in wasting the taxpayers’ time or money.”

Jackson admitted to diverting about $750,000 for personal purposes from 2005 to 2012.

Wilkins set sentencing for June 28, when Jackson could face up to five years in prison.

At a separate hearing later on Wednesday, former Chicago Alderman Sandra Stevens Jackson, 49, also pleaded guilty to one count of filing false tax returns in connection with the misuse of her husband’s campaign funds.

The charge involved a failure to declare more than $600,000 in income from 2005 to 2011. The total came from campaign funds.

She wept openly after returning to the defense table. Wilkins set her sentencing for July 1, when she could receive up to three years in prison.

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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