D.C. judge ponders sentence in Jesse Jackson Jr. tax fraud case

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is pondering suggestions from the prosecution and the defense regarding sentencing in the cases of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra Jackson.  

Jackson, who is the son of the elder civil rights activist and politician of the same name, had served as a Democratic congressman from Illinois from 1995 until 2012. He resigned last November and pleaded guilty in February to criminal charges that he schemed to illegally redirect $750,000 of campaign funds for personal use. 

His wife, who has served as a Chicago alderman and as treasurer of her husband's congressional campaign, pleaded guilty to filing federal income tax returns that understated their combined income.

Last week, the prosecution and defense submitted their recommendations for sentencing terms for both individuals. Jackson's attorney suggested a term below the guideline suggested of 46 to 57 months. He pointed to Jackson's years of good service and ties to his family and community. He also noted that incarceration might impede treatment his client is receiving for mental illness. The lawyer for Sandra Jackson suggested probation for his client.

As might be expected, prosecutors are taking a harder line. They suggested the judge sentence Jackson to four years behind bars. They called for an 18-month term for his wife. In addition, they said the couple should be required to pay restitution of more than $900,000. They argued that the couple had a combined income of nearly $345,000 at the time of their alleged criminal activity and painted the couple as greedy.

They are scheduled to be sentenced July3.

Cases involving the Internal Revenue Service do not always follow a course that is strictly laid out in statutes. Many times they are subject to the personal opinions of the agents doing the investigating. That being the case, it is always wise to obtain the help of an experienced attorney to work toward the most positive outcome possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentence: Feds Recommend 4 Years In Prison For Ex-Congressman," Frederic J. Frommer, June 7, 2013

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