Jesse Jackson Jr. charged with misusing campaign funds to buy gold, furs


U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) talks to constituents at a town hall meeting August 18, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.


Scott Olson

Federal prosecutors charged former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. with misusing $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, including buying a $40,000 Rolex watch for a friend, according to the New York Times.

Jackson, a Democrat from Illinois, faces fraud and conspiracy charges while wife Sandra is charged with filing false income tax returns from 2006 through 2011, The Associated Press reported.

Today’s charges might signal an end to Jackson’s ongoing personal and professional problems, USA Today said.

In today's charges, he's accused of spending thousands in campaign funds on himself.

Among the items he bought were more than $5,000 in furs, Hollywood memorabilia from Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson and thousands in children's furniture, according to USA Today. He also reportedly bought items once belonging to Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr.

More from GlobalPost: Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from House due to bipolar disorder

The 47-year-old Jackson resigned from Congress in November for health reasons; he sought treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic.

It was then he also admitted he faced a criminal investigation.

“Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made,” he said in a letter released today, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for the things that I did right.”

Jackson has also found himself linked to former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who is serving prison time for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Prosecutors didn’t charge Jackson in the governor's case, although he was accused of offering to raise $6 million for Blagojevich.

More from GlobalPost: Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves Mayo Clinic