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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid