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Jesse Jackson Jr., wife agree to plead guilty

February 15, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Feb. 16, 2011 file photo, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is seen in her Chicago office. On Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, Sandi Jackson, who resigned from the City Council in January 2013, was charged with filing false joint tax returns. Her husband was charged with spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a spectacular fall from political prominence, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal charges growing out of what prosecutors said was a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses, including a $43,000 gold watch and furs.

Federal prosecutors filed one charge of conspiracy against the former Chicago congressman and charged his ex-alderman wife, Sandra, with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received. Both agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors.

Both face maximum penalties of several years in prison; he also faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures. But the government did not immediately release the text of its plea agreements. Such agreements almost invariably call for prosecutors to recommend sentences below the maximum.

The son of a famed civil rights leader, Jackson, a Democrat, entered Congress in 1995 and resigned last November. Sandi, as she’s known, was a Chicago alderman, but resigned last month amid the federal investigation.

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