Obama DOJ Charges Jesse Jackson Jr With Fraud & Conspiracy

The Obama Justice Department filed fraud and conspiracy charges against former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. on Friday. The DOJ says that he used about $750,000 in campaign money for personal expenses which included a Michael Jackson fedora and cashmere capes.

According to documents filed on Friday, Jackson was charged with the following:

  • Using $57,792.83 from campaign accounts for personal expenses;
  • Jackson and a co-conspirator used credit cards issued to the campaign to make purchases for personal expenses, totaling approximately $582,772.58;
  • Jackson provided a co-conspirator and another person with funds from the campaign totaling $112,150.39 for the sole purpose of them engaging in transactions that personally benefited Jackson;
  • Jackson and a co-conspirator made false reports knowingly and willfully to the FEC to conceal their misuse of nearly $750,000 for their own personal use;
  • Jackson also attempted to conceal the conversion of the nearly three quarters of $1 million by making false statements to the Unites States House of Representatives

Additionally the documents show overt acts on Jackson’s part in which he:

  • purchased a $43,350 gold-plated, men’s Rolex watch with campaign funds;
  • used a campaign credit card to purchase $9,587.64 worth of children’s furniture;
  • purchased $5,150 of fur capes and parkas with a campaign credit card;
  • used a third party to pay for $4,000 worth of work with campaign funds;
  • wrote a check for $3,500 using campaign funds;
  • spent $1,553.09 for a porcelain collector’s item, but claimed it was for “room rental-fundraiser”;
  • issued a $25,000 check to pay down a balance on one of his credit cards

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Other items purchased that were enumerated in the document relate to memorabilia from Bruce Lee, Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Jackson, Malcom X, and Jimi Hendrix.

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Jackson has agreed to please guilty to the charges, though no date has been given to accept the plea deal. His wife, Sandra Stevens is also charged with one count of filing false tax returns.

In a written statement, Mr. Jackson apologized to his family, friends and supporters for his “errors in judgment.”

“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,” he said. “Still I offer no excuses for my conduct, and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made.”

He added, “While my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for the things that I did right.”

Now the question is, what will be the punishment for his crimes? Will it be a slap on the wrist or will the punishment truly fit the crime? I’m guessing it will be closer to the former and not the latter.

Jackson resigned shortly after winning re-election. He was also treated for bi-polar disorder in June 2012. A primary is scheduled for February 26, 2013 to fill his seat.

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