Jesse Jackson Jr. tells court will make “best efforts” to pay $750,000 restitutionContinue reading.
Feds seeking stake in Jesse, Sandi Jackson homes: Three issues for the judge
WASHINGTON–Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to approve an order to allow the federal government to stake a claim to any cash that may come from the sale of the homes of Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi here and in Chicago, with the request timed to the July 3 sentencing of the couple.
“The Jacksons will not be compelled to sell their homes. Restitution issues will be discussed at sentencing,” said William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Jesse Jackson Jr., a former Congressman and Sandi Jackson, a former alderman, pled guilty last February to looting their campaign funds of some $750,000 over a seven-year period; Sandi Jackson also admitted to not paying income taxes on some $600,000 that she stole.
When the couple come to court on Wednesday, there will be several issues before U.S. District Court Amy Berman Jackson (no relation):
*The amount of forfeiture and restitution to be paid.
*And if they both get prison time, who should serve time first so that one parent could stay home to care for their children, who are 9 and 13.
The government wants $750,000 forfeiture plus another $750,000 in restitution; lawyers for Jackson Jr. have argued the amount should be $750,000.
In earlier filings, prosecutors asked the judge for four years for the former lawmaker and 18 months for the former alderman. Sandi Jackson’s lawyers are asking for probation; his lawyers are requesting an unspecified shorter sentence.
Federal prosecutors offered to agree to staggered sentences and suggested Sandi Jackson go first because if the judge ordered her to prison, her sentence would be less than her husbands’.
Lawyers for Jesse Jackson Jr. asked the judge to let him serve his time first because the couple is broke and Sandi Jackson is the spouse who could work. Jackson could not “stabilize” the family finances because of his bi-polar disorder, his lawyers told the judge.
The motion the federal prosecutors filed Friday was to protect the government interest in two of the main Jackson assets: homes on E. 72nd St. and on O Street in the DuPont Circle neighborhood in Washington.
“The government is not trying to take over the properties from Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. but is acting to protect its interest in securing the money judgment that the defendant has been ordered to pay,” Miller said.
“The motion filed by the government today seeks to forfeit the defendant’s interest in the two properties in the event that they are sold. This is a standard filing in cases in which a defendant has a significant money judgment and equity in property that could be used to satisfy the money judgment,” he said.
Federal authorities have obtained some of the goods the Jacksons’ bought during the seven-year period they looted some $750,000 from their campaign funds.
The Jackson’s must forfeit what they bought as part of the restitution they agreed to when they pled guilty last February.
The motion filed Friday notes the Jacksons have turned over some–but not all–of the goods.
“The Consent Order also ordered the forfeiture of 24 items which were purchased by the defendant during the course of the conspiracy for $61,910. Thus far the defendant has turned over only 12 items, which were purchased for $21,155. The United States Marshals Service will sell these items, and the sale price after expenses will be deducted from the forfeiture money judgment.
‘If and when the defendant turns over the remaining items, they will be sold, and the sale price of those items after expenses will also be deducted from the forfeiture money judgment. However, the sale of these items will not satisfy the forfeiture money judgment. As such, the United States seeks to forfeit the defendant’s interest in the O Street Property, the 72nd Street Property,” and an IRA account of about $79,000.