By Katherine Skiba
WASHINGTON — Congressman-turned-convicted-felon Jesse Jackson Jr. will sell his townhouse in the nation’s capital to help pay a $750,000 forfeiture he owes, according to a court filing Friday.
Jackson, 48, a Chicago Democrat who quit Congress last November, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Aug. 14 after using $750,000 in campaign cash on a Rolex watch, furs, vacations, celebrity memorabilia, mounted elk heads and other whims.
He has not yet reported to prison, but is expected to do so shortly, a federal Bureau of Prisons official said.
The townhouse, near DuPont Circle, was put on the market in September 2012, months before Jackson and his wife, Sandi, entered guilty pleas for their crimes, but the property later was taken off the market.
Sandi Jackson, 50, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and is to serve a one-year sentence after her husband concludes his.
When their townhouse went on the market in 2012, it had an asking price of $2.5 million. A real estate listing posted then on the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems said the home was built in 1921 and has four bedrooms, three full baths, two half baths, five fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, a sunroom and a rooftop deck with a Jacuzzi.
In Friday’s court filing, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, lawyers said Jackson Jr. “has been unsuccessful in his attempts to satisfy his forfeiture money judgment, and thus has agreed to sell the O Street property (in Washington), and to use the proceeds of the sale” to meet the obligation.
Jackson Jr., lawyers said, also has agreed to pay $200,000 of the forfeiture by next Friday.
In response to the filing, the federal judge in the case canceled next Friday’s scheduled hearing for Jackson Jr. and asked for a status report by Nov. 4 on the $200,000 payment that lawyers in the case said Jackson Jr. will make by next Friday.
The judge is Amy Berman Jackson, who is not related to the couple.
Last June, federal prosecutors said in a court filing that Jackson Jr. had an individual retirement account with a balance of nearly $79,729 as of last May 29. In Friday’s filing, lawyers said a portion of the $200,000 he has agreed to pay by next week was obtained by liquidating that account.
The filing, from prosecutors and defense lawyers, essentially seeks to give Jackson Jr. until next June 1 to pay the entire judgment.
The filing also states that a U.S. Marshals Service auction of luxury items and collectibles that Jackson Jr. turned over to help meet the obligation has been canceled.
Twelve of 13 items he surrendered went up for sale on an online auction Sept. 17. The bidding hit $14,136 before the sale abruptly was halted three days later, the Marshals Service said.
It stopped because questions were raised about the authenticity of a guitar, which had been withheld from the sale and which purportedly was signed by the late pop icon Michael Jackson and rocker Eddie Van Halen.
The Marshals Service said then that it had stopped the auction “out of an abundance of caution” for a “secondary review” of all the surrendered items.
In a footnote in Friday’s filing, it was announced: “Because of concerns about the authenticity of some of the items seized, the auction was canceled. The parties agree that none of the items seized will be sold, and the defendant will not receive credit towards his forfeiture money judgment for any of the seized items.”
A spokeswoman for the Marshals Service, Lynzey Donahue, said Friday that the collectibles that had been on auction had been returned to the FBI. “We still have to decide what to do with the furs, but they will not be sold.”
Among the 13 items taken from Jackson Jr. were four items of women’s apparel: a black, sheared mink jacket; a red cashmere cape with dyed black mink trim; a brown cashmere cape with brown mink trim; and a black, sheared mink hooded parka.
The furs will not be returned to Jackson Jr., Donahue said.
By Katherine Skiba
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