Federal prosecutors filed charges against former U.S. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., Friday, alleging he had misspent about $750,000 in campaign funds.
Charges against the former congressman include conspiracy, false statements, mail fraud, and wire fraud. U.S. Justice Department attorneys filed them with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Jackson resigned from office in November after disappearing from public view last summer while he sought treatment for bipolar disorder.
Jackson previously agreed to enter into a plea-bargaining deal in the case, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week.
The judge who will determine Jackson's sentence has yet to be assigned, but, under the terms of the deal, prosecutors will recommend a prison term of between 46 and 57 months, according to multiple media reports.
Jackson, the son of the civil-rights leader Jesse L. Jackson, is accused of tapping campaign funds to buy more than $20,000 worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia, more than $10,000 worth of Bruce Lee memorabilia, and more than $10,000 worth of Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia, as well as other items including cashmere, fox, and mink clothing.
“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,” Jackson said in a statement delivered by his attorneys.
“Still, I offer no excuses for my conduct, and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made,” Jackson said. “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.”
Federal law prohibits the personal use of campaign funds. Jackson will be forced to compensate the government for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with the monies spent on the aforementioned items, the former congressman will have to repay the $40,000 he spent on a Rolex watch, furniture for his home, and the travel funds for a woman he described as a “social acquaintance.”
In a related action, Jackson’s wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandra Jackson, was charged with one count of filing false joint federal income-tax returns for the years from 2006 t0 2011, the Associated Press reported.
A primary election to determine who will fill Jackson’s seat in Congress has been scheduled for Feb. 26.
The full text of the charges filed against Jackson appears below as it was posted on Scribd by tpmdocs.