Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Political couple sentenced for tax crimes

In today's fiercely competitive and bi-partisan political climate, individuals who choose to run for a political office must often spend months campaigning. The life of a politician is not for the faint of heart. While running for office, many spend long days on the campaign trail speaking and answering difficult questions from skeptical or angry constituents. Not only does this type of campaigning take a tremendous amount of time and energy, but it also takes a tremendous amount of money.

Politicians are no strangers to scandal. In recent years politicians have been subject to scandals of nearly every nature, including those centered around various tax crimes. The most recent politician to have his day in court is Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jackson held the political office of U.S. Democratic congressman since 1995. In recent years, he battled with mental health issues including bipolar disorder and depression. His latest battle, however, was waged in a federal courtroom where he was recently sentenced to spend two years in prison for criminal charges related to tax fraud and using campaign dollars for personal use.

Jackson plead guilty to spending an estimated $750,000 of campaign funds since 1995 on numerous personal items. In addition to the charges against Jackson, his wife and former Chicago alderman also faced charges of tax fraud and the inappropriate use of campaign money. For her involvement, Sandra Jackson received a one-year prison sentence.

While it appears as though the Jacksons will be headed to prison, the couple's attorney noted a lesser sentence was sought in light of the Former Representative's mental health state. Additionally, the couple has small children which was also factor in sentencing.

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Jesse Jackson Jr., wife sentenced to prision for misspending campaign funds, tax fraud," Associated Press, Aug. 14, 2013