Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to scheming to illegally spend $750,000 in campaign funds.
The guilty plea, to one felony count of conspiracy to commit false statements, wire fraud and mail fraud, had been expected. Court papers stated he used campaign money to buy a $43,350 gold-plated men’s Rolex watch and $9,587.64 worth of children’s furniture. His wife, Sandra Jackson, was set to appear in court later on Wednesday on a charge of filing false joint federal income tax returns.
According to NBC Chicago WMAQ-TV, Jackson acknowledged the charges against him, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Because of the plea, he is eligible for a lesser prison sentence of between 46 and 57 months and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000. Sentencing is not expected for several weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I fully understand the consequences of my actions,” Jackson said.
According to the Tribune, Jackson’s father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and other family members were present at the courthouse for the hearing.
This post has been updated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.