Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Even from jail Jesse Jackson, Jr. still feeds at the public trough

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is now serving time in prison. The $750,000 judgement against him remains unpaid, but he will still be paid public money.

Jackson, who pleaded guilty in federal court in the District of Columbia, begun serving 30 months in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit false statements, mail fraud and wire fraud earlier this year. He was convicted last February for pilfering cash from his own campaign fund to support an overly lavish lifestyle, Jackson, 48, had a penchant for expensive vacations, night clubs, furs, a Rolex watch, and pricey collectibles once owned by the late Michael Jackson and other celebrities. He also spent campaign cash to remodel his house.

Despite Jackson’s fall from grace, the ex-congressman remains eligible for $8,700 per month in disability due to his mental state. He has been diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder as well as suffering from depression. 

Last year, coincidentally, around the time his political star was losing its luster, Jackson disappeared from public view. When he resurfaced again in August, he announced that he had been at Mayo Clinic where he had undergone treatment for a bi-polar disorder coupled with severe depression.

As a former congressman, Jackson will also remain eligible for a partial federal pension of $45,000 annually.

Some $200,000 of the judgment against Jackson has been paid from a liquidated securities account. The remaining $550,000 must be paid before next June because according to court documents, Jackson has been “unsuccessful in his attempts to satisfy his forfeiture money judgment.”

The U.S. Marshals Service auction, of some of Jackson’s seized assets was canceled two months ago, when the authenticity of some of the items was questioned.

The remaining funds will come from the sale or refinance of the Jacksons Washington, D.C. town home. The property was on the market for a short time last year. It was listed at $2.5 million.

Jackson’s wife Sandi, a former Chicago alderman who ran her husband’s campaign office, pleaded guilty to tax fraud. She received a 12-month sentence in prison as well, but the two will not serve at the same time.

A judge granted the Jacksons’ request to allow them to serve consecutive terms in prison. Sandi Jackson will remain free until after her husband’s release from prison, so she can take care of the couple’s two children: Jessica, 13 and Jesse III, 9.

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