On Friday, U.S. prosecutors brought criminal fraud and conspiracy charges against Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the civil rights leader. The prosecutors accused Jesse Jackson Jr., and another person of conspiracy and misuse of $750,000 from campaign funds.
The former Chicago congressman released a statement without entering into a guilty plea at the U.S. District Court in Washington. The statement read, “I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made.”
Prosecutors also filed charges against Sandi Jackson, Jesse’s wife, accusing her of filing false tax returns with full knowledge.
Sandi resigned from her seat of Chicago city councilwoman last month, while Jesse had resigned from his seat in the Congress in November citing health reasons.
Prosecutors submitted before the court that seven people were involved in the conspiracy to funnel campaign funds into personal pockets. The complaint read, “The goal of the conspiracy was for defendant Jesse Jackson Jr. and Co-Conspirator 1 to enrich themselves by engaging in a conspiracy and a scheme to defraud in which they used funds donated to the Campaign for their own personal benefit.”
If convicted, Jackson may face up to five years in prison, while his wife may face up to three years. However, given the social status of Jesse Jackson Jr., and that he was, before this, one of the most promising Democrat politicians, actual sentences can be less severe.
Besides the FBI investigation into his recent campaign finances episode for which he has been charged, Jackson had earlier been probed by a House ethics committee over allegations that a Jackson supporter had tried to bribe Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008.
Though Jackson had admitted lobbying for the seat left vacant by President Obama, he denied knowledge about any offered bribe. Rod Blagojevich went to jail after being found corrupted.