Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison Wednesday for illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, the judge scolding the son of the famed civil rights leader for using the money as a “piggy bank” and sentencing his wife to a year as well.
However, Jackson, who emotionally apologized to his father, mother, congressional colleagues and others, was given significantly less prison time than federal guidelines recommend, recognized by the judge as a “complex person” who has done both good and bad.
Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced for filing false joint federal income tax returns.
After prison, the former congressman is to spend three years on supervised release and complete 500 hours of community service. If he earns credit for good behavior in prison, he could end up serving closer to two years. He agreed to repay the $750,000 when he pleaded guilty earlier this year.
According to court documents, the Jacksons had spent campaign money on TV’s, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items.
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