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Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads to conspiracy charge

WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. entered a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Both the former Illinois congressman and his wife, Sandra, had agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors. Jackson’s guilty plea was to a conspiracy charge.

His wife was due in court later on a charge of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received. The Jacksons were appearing separately before U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins.

Both Jackson and his wife face penalties of up to several years in prison; he also faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures.

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