Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. began a 30-month sentence at a North Carolina federal prison on Tuesday.
Jackson, the son of civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., was convicted of misusing roughly $750,000 in campaign funds in February. The former representative was ordered to report to a Butner, North Carolina federal prison complex no later than Nov. 1, and according to Reuters, appeared at the penitentiary on Monday.
Jackson was initially turned away from the prison due to problems with his paperwork, but is now in federal custody, according to statements from Jackson’s representative to the Chicago Tribune. He has been assigned to the prison’s minimum-security camp, where he will live in dormitory-style housing along with roughly 300 other low-security inmates.
“It was just before 11 a.m. that it was updated in my system,” Jackson’s representative told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know exactly what time he walked in the door and it closed behind him.”
Jackson represented suburban Chicago in the House of Representatives from 1995 until his resignation in 2012. Though he was once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, a series of events in 2012 led to his fall from grace and eventual imprisonment. In June 2012, Jackson took a leave of absence and appeared to go missing for several months. It was only in August that his office confirmed Jackson was being treated for bipolar disorder.
In October 2012, federal prosecutors began investigating Jackson for the misuse of campaign funds, leading to his resignation just 16 days after winning another term in November. Prosecutors found that Jackson had spent nearly $750,000 in campaign money for over 3,000 ostentatious personal purchases, including fur coats, a Rolex watch and a fedora that once belonged to Michael Jackson.
Jackson pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud and criminal forfeiture in February 2013 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in August.
Jackson’s wife Sandra Jackson was also involved in his misuse of campaign funds and pleaded guilty to filing falsified tax returns that hid hundreds of thousands of dollars from the IRS. Sandra Jackson was sentenced to 12 months in prison, to be served when her husband is released from prison, allowing their children access to at least one parent at all times.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.