Feds ask to seize Jesse Jackson Jr.’s homes

Embattled former Illinois Democratic Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. may soon be losing both his homes.

The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that federal prosecutors requested permission to seize Jackson’s two houses, in Chicago and Washington, D.C. An IRA worth close to $80,000 may also be seized. Prosecutors have asked for Jackson to serve a four-year prison term.

After a federal probe of Jackson’s campaign finance activities surfaced last year, the former Congressman confessed to using $750,000 of campaign funding to pay for personal items, including furniture for his two homes, jewelry and watches, and tens of thousands of dollars in celebrity memorabilia.

Jackson resigned in November 2012 after a leave of absence from the House of Representatives, during which he was treated for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic, and pleaded guilty to the charges against him in February of this year.

Though he was ordered to pay a $750,000 fine for his offense in addition to repaying the original $750,000 which he improperly spent, Jackson’s attorneys claimed that as he cannot work due to his illness, he “has no ability to pay,” according to USA Today.

While Jackson was ordered in February to hand over a portion of the items he’d purchased with the funds, prosecutors stated today that he has relinquished only 12 of the 24 required items. The items will be sold and their resulting prices will be deducted from the balance of Jackson’s fines.

Not only did Jackson himself improperly use campaign funds, but his wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, failed to report $600,000 of income to the IRS. She pleaded guilty to falsifying tax returns and prosecutors have recommended 18 months of jail time.

Today’s motion in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. is the latest development in the investigation, which began in October 2012.

Despite the criminal investigation into campaign finance violations underway and the health issues that kept the congressman entirely inactive during the 2012 campaign season, Jackson was handily re-elected in November but resigned soon afterward. He was replaced by Democrat Robin Kelly in a special election earlier this year.

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