WASHINGTON, DC — Federal prosecutors want former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to receive a sentence of four years in prison for misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds, which he used to cover personal expenses.
A government sentencing memo released Friday also calls for Jackson to pay back that money to the campaign and asks for the forfeiture of some of Jackson’s assets to do so.
In their own document issued Friday, Jackson’s lawyers asked for a jail term below the guideline range of 46-57 months.
“Mr. Jackson’s need for ongoing mental health treatment, outstanding record of good works both large and small, as well as his close family and community ties all argue for leniency,” the memo read. “The nature of his offense has left no victims asking for justice.
“Mr. Jackson has already lost so much due to his mistakes that a below-Guidelines sentence is warranted, just and necessary to punish him appropriately,” his lawyers continued in their memo.
Other factors, such as Jackson suffering under media glare and the fact he and his wife resigned and lost their incomes, are also cited in the document.
Jackson, a Democrat who represented Illinois, pleaded guilty February 20 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements and admitted to years of using campaign money to pay for things like vacations, restaurant bills and Michael Jackson memorabilia.
His wife, Sandra Jackson, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. For her, the prosecutors recommend she serve an 18 month sentence and pay $168,550.01 in restitution.
Prosecutors are also recommending the Jacksons not serve their sentences at the same time because they have kids. The proposal suggests Sandra serve first.
The defense will file their own motions on sentencing, and the judge will make the final decisions.
Both Jacksons are scheduled to be sentenced on July 3.
By Carol Cratty
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