News Column

Jackson Jr. will modify mortgage to pay feds $550,000, lawyers say

May 16, 2014

By Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune



May 16--WASHINGTON -- Jesse Jackson Jr., the former congressman imprisoned for looting $750,000 from his campaign treasury, will pay the $550,000 balance of the forfeiture he owes the federal government by refinancing a home mortgage, lawyers said in a court filing late Thursday.

Jackson, 49, who is serving a 30-month term in a federal prison camp in Alabama, is in the process of closing on the refinancing and will pay the money via wire transfer before June 1, lawyers said.

The news came in a status report, filed by defense and prosecution lawyers, to a federal judge in Washington.

Jackson, a Democrat, has two homes, one in Washington's upscale DuPont Circle neighborhood and one on Chicago'sSouth Side. The report did not specify which property would be getting a modified mortgage.

The overall forfeiture is roughly the amount of money he looted from his campaign treasury during a yearslong spending binge involving a Rolex watch, celebrity memorabilia, vacations, restaurant and bar tabs, furniture, a pair of elk heads and other goods.

Lawyers in the case said in an Oct. 25 court filing that Jackson had agreed to sell his Washington, D.C., home and use the proceeds of the sale to satisfy the forfeiture, court documents show. The same day, Jackson gave a $200,000 check to the U.S. Marshals Service, documents show.

His Victorian-style town house has an assessed value of $1.3 million and its proposed new value for 2015 is $1.4 million, according to the Washington, D.C., Office of Tax and Revenue.

The home was for sale, with an asking price of $2.5 million, in September 2012 but was soon taken off the market.

Jackson's other home, on East 72nd Street in Chicago, had an estimated market value in 2013 of just under $237,000, according to the Cook County assessor's office.

In a court filing last year, government lawyers said both properties -- during the time Jackson's crimes were under way -- were placed into a trust and that Jackson and his wife, Sandi Jackson, were the trustees.

His case is before U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Columbia. She is not related to the former lawmaker.

Jackson entered a federal prison in Butner, N.C., on Oct. 29 and transferred on April 4 to a federal prison camp on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., Bureau of Prisons officials said. His new camp houses nearly 900 inmates.

His projected release date from prison is Dec. 31, 2015. His wife, a former Chicago alderman, is to surrender 30 days after his release from custody to start her yearlong federal sentence for a tax violation arising out of the case.

Jackson's defense attorneys did not respond to Tribune requests for comment on the money he owes.

kskiba@tribune.com

Twitter @KatherineSkiba

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(c)2014 the Chicago Tribune

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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)


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