Former U.S. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire and mail fraud, according to news reports.
“For years I lived off my campaign,” a tearful Jackson said, according to The New York Times. “I used money I shouldn’t have used for personal purposes.”
The guilty plea came after federal prosecutors charged him with using $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses including a $43,350 Rolex watch and $5,000 in capes and parkas from a fur shop. According to court documents, Jackson has also been charged with conspiracy and making false statements.
According to the Chicago Tribune, he is at risk of facing up to five years of prison time as well as losing his federal pension. The Times reported that prosecutors put forward a plea agreement that would include 46 to 57 months in prison.
Jackson Jr. resigned from his post in the U.S. House of Representatives in November amid a federal investigation and said he had been diagnosed with bipolar depression.
The Tribune reported that Sandi Jackson, former 7th Ward alderman, joined her husband in pleading guilty to a charge for filing falsified tax returns from 2006 through 2011.
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