News / USA

Former US Congressman Pleads Guilty to Misspending Campaign Money

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Pleads Guilty to Corruptioni
X
February 20, 2013 10:00 PM
Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. appeared in federal court in Washington Wednesday on charges that he converted a sizeable amount of his campaign funds to personal use. Jackson, the son of famed civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, was accompanied by his wife who also had to answer charges in the same case. VOA’s Jeffrey Young has details.
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Pleads Guilty to Corruption
Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. appeared in federal court in Washington Wednesday on charges that he converted a sizeable amount of his campaign funds to personal use.  Jackson, the son of famed civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, was accompanied by his wife who also had to answer charges in the same case.  VOA’s Jeffrey Young has details.

The former Chicago-area congressman walked into federal court Wednesday and pled guilty to criminal charges of misusing $750,000 dollars in campaign funds.

Jackson, who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2102, entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and filing false federal tax returns.  

His wife has agreed to plead guilty to the same tax charge.

Prosecutors say Jackson used the campaign funds to buy a Rolex watch, furniture, and a large collection of memorabilia from notables including Martin Luther King, Jr and action movie star Bruce Lee.

His wife Sandra is accused of using the campaign funds to buy furs and other clothing.

After Jackson’s court appearance, his attorney, Reid Weingarten said the former congressman has acknowledged his corrupt behavior

“Jesse needed to come to terms with his misconduct. And, those who were in court saw that he did precisely that. He had to come to terms for conduct that people who care about him find very hard to understand,” Weingarten said.

Prosecutors are recommending a prison sentence for Jackson of 46 to 57 months.  

He will also forfeit $750,000 to reflect the campaign funds taken, and will also hand over a sizeable portion of his memorabilia collection. Formal sentencing will take place on June 28.

Once a rising star in the Democratic party, Jackson’s misuse of publicly collected campaign funds clearly fits the classic definition of corruption, according to Georgetown University public policy professor Mark Rom:

“The key thing is - does the transaction produce harm to the public interest? Does that transaction involve a misuse of power, of public authority, for private gain? That’s what makes it a corrupt act,” Rom said.

Jackson has also reportedly suffered from mental health problems. He was on medical leave from Congress from June of 2012 through the November election, after which he resigned his seat for personal reasons.

Jeffrey Young

Jeffrey Young came to the “Corruption” beat after years of doing news analysis, primarily on global strategic issues such as nuclear proliferation.  During most of 2013, he was on special assignment in Baghdad and elsewhere with the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).  Previous VOA activities include VOA-TV, where he created the “How America Works” and “How America Elects” series, and the “Focus” news analysis unit.

You May Like

Ferguson Grand Jury Expected to Reconvene

It remains unclear when jurors will reach a decision on whether to indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid