Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. plead guilty this to spending $750,000 of campaign funds on luxury items for personal use, including furs, jewelry, and celebrity memorabilia. Jackson, 47, represented Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District for 17 years before taking a medical leave for bipolar disorder. He allegedly used campaign funds to buy such items as a $43,350 gold-plated Rolex watch, a $5,000 football signed by U.S. presidents, and a $4,600 fedora owned by Michael Jackson.
In pleading guilty to conspiracy, he said, “I have no interest in wasting the taxpayers’ time or their money.” He faces up to five years in jail for what was one of the largest thefts of campaign funds on record. His wife, Sandi, who stepped down as a Chicago alderman in January, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns for six years.