Jesse Jackson Jr. Asks To Serve Jail Sentence Before Wife, Says He Can't Pay Court Fine
June 19, 2013 11:15 AM EST
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., says he is unable to pay the $750,000 fine he was ordered by the government to fork over for campaign fund offenses.
In court documents filed on Monday, his attorneys told the District Court for the District of Columbia that "Mr. Jackson has no ability to pay a fine."
According to USAToday.com, the defense cited a report for the federal court that showed the couple's net worth being lower than $750,000, “largely made up of the equity in their homes in Chicago and Washington, two retirement accounts and their automobiles.”
The now-disgraced Chicago politician was given the fine by the court after he admitted to using $750,00 worth of campaign funds to support a lavish lifestyle. His purchases included a gold-plated men's Rolex watch as well as memorabilia that belonged to Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Jackson.
Jackson is now facing four years in prison while his wife, Sandi Jackson, faces 18 months in jail. Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to placing false information in their tax returns for six years.
The couple's sentencing is scheduled for July 3, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Due to the financial strain placed on the family, Jackson's attorneys requested that the courts allow the former congressman to serve his sentence first.
“If he serves his period of incarceration first, Mrs. Jackson would be able to work and could stabilize the family’s finances,” they said.
They also asked that Jackson's wife be put on probation in order to “minister to the pain and loss that her children have already suffered and will doubtlessly continue to suffer in the weeks and months ahead.”
They also stressed the fact that the two children, ages 9 and 13, "need their mother."
Due to his bipolar disorder diagnosis last year, the filings say that Jackson is unable to work currently. His lawyers say his sole income comes from Social Security payments and a federal pension.
Following his successful re-election last November, Jackson resigned from his Illinois' 2nd Congressional District seat. In February, they both pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds.
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