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Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaves federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Jackson was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TV's, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items. (AP)

Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

by Eyder Peralta
Aug 14, 2013

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Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., in 2009.

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Eyder Peralta

Jesse Jackson Jr., who pleaded guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds, was sentenced to 30 months in prison plus three years of supervised release today, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times are reporting.

Earlier during the sentencing hearing, the former Democratic congressman from Chicago and his wife wept, while apologizing for their failings.

The Tribune reports:

"Jackson Jr. apologized for his crimes and expressed special regrets to his mother and father.

"'Your honor, throughout this process I've asked the government and the court to hold me and only me accountable for my actions,' he said.

"When Jackson Jr. spoke, his voice was firm except for the few times he wept openly and paused to dry his eyes with a tissue, blow his nose and collect himself.

" 'I am the example for the whole Congress,' he said. 'I understand that. I didn't separate my personal life from my political activities, and I couldn't have been more wrong.' "

Jackson's wife, Sandi, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. She was sentenced to one year in prison.

As Mark reported back in February, Jackson, the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said he used money collected to support his congressional races to buy himself presents that included a Rolex watch, furniture and fur capes and parkas.

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