Jackson Jr. charged with illegal use of campaign funds

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) on Friday was formally charged with illegally spending campaign funds.

Jackson was charged with spending about $750,000 of campaign funds on personal purchases, making false statements and wire and mail fraud. Jackson and prosecutors have reportedly agreed to a plea deal that includes less than five years in prison.

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Jackson would plead guilty to a felony count of misusing campaign funds. Under the agreement with prosecutors, a federal judge will decide Jackson's punishment, which ranges from probation to five years imprisonment, according to CBS News.

Jackson said in a statement that there was no excuse for his conduct.

"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 according to the Chicago Tribune. "Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. 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."

Previous reports said Jackson could face as much as much as 57 months in jail for making personal purchases with the campaign funds. Those purchases include an expensive Rolex watch, memorabilia previously owned by a Michael Jackson, Malcolm X and Bruce Lee, furnishings for his home and fur coats. The indictment against Jackson orders him to forfeit the memorabilia, which is valued at roughly $60,000. He must also give up the mik coats.

According to the indictment, Jackson and a co-conspirator spent about $582,772 of money on personal purchases through campaign-issued credit cards.

Jackson has reportedly been in talks with federal investigators over a plea agreement to reduce his jail time.

He is also expected to have to pay a fine as part of the agreement.

Jackson currently faces multiple charges, including giving false statements to federal officials and conspiracy.

Former Chicago Alderwoman Sandi Jackson (D-Ill.), Jackson's wife, is also expected to plead guilty to tax violations. She resigned from office in January citing "health matters."

The former congressman, prior to resigning from Congress, admitted that he was receiving treatment for severe bipolar disorder and cited his battle with depression as a reason for stepping down from Congress.

Read the indictment below.

-— Updated on Saturday, February 16, at 10:09 a.m.


Indictment charges against Jesse Jackson Jr. by