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Congress Made It Easier For JJJ To Misuse Funds: Report

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Congress Made It Easier For JJJ To Misuse Funds: Report

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Jackson Jr.'s Problems Began With Blagojevich

While he was never charged in the scandal that brought down Illinois' former governor, Jackson's most recent legal troubles were almost certainly uncovered during that investigation. Phil Rogers reports.

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According to federal charges, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. spent thousands of campaign dollars on fan memorabilia. But an NBC Chicago source says that fact doesn't paint a complete picture. Marion Brooks reports.
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Apparently it was pretty easy for Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife to dip into the former Illinois congressman's campaign funds.

Congress reportedly stripped power from the agency that oversees those funds, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Federal Election Commission is no longer allowed to conduct random audits.

That makes it nearly impossible to track similar activity from any other congressmen short of a criminal probe, the Sun-Times reports.

Jackson pleaded guilty last month to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items including a Michael Jackson fedora, Rolex watch and trips for his family. Other charges included more than $4,000 for a cruise, $2,300 at Walt Disney World and $5,600 at a spa on Martha's Vineyard.

He faces up to five years in prison and reportedly plans to write a book ahead of his summer sentencing.

His wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, pleaded guilty to separate charges of failing to claim about $600,000 on her income tax returns between 2005 in 2011.

Prosecutors said some of the improper funds Sandi Jackson used included 3,100 purchases amounting to $27,421.22 from her aldermanic campaign account: $60,857 in restaurant charges, $16,058.91 in gym expenses, $17,163.36 spent at a tobacco shop and $14,513.42 in dry cleaning expenses.

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