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Prosecutors seek forfeiture of homes owned by Jesse Jackson Jr.

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (C) departs the U.S. District Federal Courthouse in Washington February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (C) departs the U.S. District Federal Courthouse in Washington February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - Prosecutors asked a federal judge on Friday to allow two houses owned by disgraced former Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife to be subject to forfeiture, ahead of the couple's sentencing next week.

Jackson pleaded guilty in February to misusing campaign funds while his wife, Sandi, a former Chicago city council member, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns that failed to report the campaign money as income.

The couple owns houses in Washington and Chicago, according to the forfeiture motion filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the property, prosecutors also requested an account containing about $80,000 be forfeited. The court documents did not give the value of the homes.

Prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 48 months for Jesse Jackson Jr., once considered one of the most promising black politicians in the United States. His wife faces 18 months behind bars at their sentencing scheduled for Wednesday.

Jesse Jackson Jr., 48, resigned from U.S. Congress after he was re-elected in a safe Democratic seat last year, saying he was doing so for health reasons. He has undergone extensive treatment for depression, including spending weeks last summer at the Mayo Clinic.

Jesse Jackson Jr., the son of civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson Sr., pleaded guilty to misusing about $750,000 in campaign funds on luxuries such as fur capes, celebrity memorabilia and a Rolex watch.

The younger Jackson ran for Congress and won at age 30. He served from 1995 until his resignation.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Lisa Shumaker)

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