Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge

Jackson allegedly spent $750k in campaign cash on Rolex, MJ hats, other personal items


Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D., Ill.) pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges related to a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign money on personal expenses.

Jackson’s wife will also plead guilty on tax-related charges, the Associated Press reports, with both facing prison time:

Both the former Illinois congressman and his wife, Sandra, had agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors. Jackson’s guilty plea was to a conspiracy charge. His wife was due in court later on a charge of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received. The Jacksons were appearing separately before U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins.

Both Jackson and his wife face maximum penalties of several years in prison; he also faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures.

It was reportedly an emotional day in court for the former congressman, with Jackson’s lawyer stopping to grab a tissue for him in the middle of his guilty plea.

Jackson allegedly spent $750,000 in campaign money on personal items, including a $48,000 Rolex, nearly $10,000 in children’s furniture, and tens of thousands of dollars in memorabilia, including hats that belonged to Michael Jackson.

Sentencing for the former Democratic congressman will be held June 28.