30 months prison for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Updated 18 August 2013
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30 months prison for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

WASHINGTON: The son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TVs, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items.
Jesse Jackson Jr., a former Democratic congressman, gave an emotional speech to the judge during the sentencing hearing, apologizing and saying he wanted to “take responsibility for my actions.”
“I misled the American people,” said Jackson, who became choked up and used tissues to blow his nose.
Jackson, 48, had been a congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned last November. In letters to the court prior to Wednesday’s sentencing, his family urged the judge to go easy on him, blaming much of his bad behavior on his recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
“I appeal to you for mercy,” his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, wrote in one letter. “Jesse Jr. is an example as a teacher and counselor who will be better served under supervision and probation.”
The elder Jackson sat in the front row during Wednesday’s proceedings.
“This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for our family,” he told a crush of reporters outside the federal courthouse after the sentencing.
According to court papers in the case, Jackson used campaign money to buy items including a $43,350 gold-plated men’s Rolex watch.
US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that as a public official, Jackson was expected to “live up to a higher standard of ethics and integrity.” After prison, he is to spend three years on supervised release and complete 500 hours of community service.
Jackson’s wife, Sandra Jackson, was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for filing joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple’s income. She spent $5,150 in campaign funds on fur capes and parkas, court documents show.
She will serve her sentence after her husband gets out of prison. The couple, who have two children, 13 and 9, asked to serve at separate times.
Jesse Jackson Jr. had pleaded guilty to the criminal charges back in February. He admitted that he and his wife used campaign credit cards to buy 3,100 personal items worth $582,772 from 2005 through April of last year — including $60,857 for personal expenditures at restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $16,058 for personal expenditures at sports clubs and lounges; $5,814 for alcohol and $14,513 for dry cleaning.
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Associated Press reporter Michael Tarm contributed to this report from Chicago.


80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

Updated 4 min 39 sec ago
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80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

  • Terror attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001
  • While the Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, experts warn that its ideology will live on

PARIS: Ministers from 80 countries and nearly 500 experts gather in Paris from Wednesday for a conference on combating the financing of terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, French officials said.
Attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001, particularly in recent years when followers of Daesh have used vehicles and guns as their main weapon of choice.
But French authorities remain concerned about a huge war-chest amassed by Daesh between 2014 and 2016 when it ruled over large swathes of oil-rich territory in Iraq and Syria.
A French presidential official briefing journalists on Tuesday said that Daesh income was estimated at about $1 billion (820 million euros) a year.
“It has been moved since, at least in part. It’s probably somewhere,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “These groups are very skilful in using sophisticated techniques to move financial resources around.”
The idea of the two-day conference, which will close with a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday afternoon, is to share expertise and good practice that can be implemented internationally.
The Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, but experts warn that its ideology will live on.
Some terror experts, including Peter Neumann from King’s College in London, have argued recently that the fight against the financing of terror groups has been ineffective since 2001.
In a report last year entitled “Don’t follow the money,” he argued that low-cost terror attacks were easy to mount and jihadist groups could transfer money easily without using the international banking system.
He will make a speech at the start of the second day of the conference on Thursday which will take place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.