DALLAS, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 16, 2013) - Tax Attorney Joe Garza, a Dallas-based asset protection, estate planning and complex business tax lawyer, reacted to the recent downfall of Rev. Jackson and his wife, who were implicated in a scheme and found guilty of misappropriation of campaign funds, which they used for personal reasons. After pleading guilty to the misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi have just been sentenced to 30 and 12 months in jail, respectively. While the sentencing may have come as a surprise to many, Dallas Tax Attorney Joe Garza says that the former representative's behavior happens more often than most would like to think.
Considered one of the most promising political figures at the turn of the millennium, Jesse Jackson Jr. captivated the nation as the ambitious continuation of the political dynasty that was initiated by his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. With his high aspirations and notable background, many speculated his sights were directed squarely on the White House; Jackson Jr. appeared to have the momentum to leave an even greater impression on Capitol Hill than his father had. However, the 47-year-old Representative's resignation in November of 2012 would cut his promising career short, and would be quickly followed by a federal investigation into his misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, many of which he and his wife failed to report as income to the IRS.
"As egregious as [Jackson's] conduct was, the charges are hardly anything out of the ordinary," remarked Texas Attorney Joe B. Garza. "It's not uncommon for campaigning politicians to use donations to subsidize their luxurious lifestyles."
In February, Jackson admitted that approximately $750,000 in campaign funding was used to purchase commodities like fur capes, mounted animal heads, jewelry, a Rolex watch, luxurious vacations and even Michael Jackson memorabilia; Jackson's wife pleaded guilty to deliberately submitting false tax returns to the IRS.
Before sentencing, the public filed dozens of letters to the presiding judge, most of them from outraged writers disgusted with the Jacksons' conduct and imploring the judge to administer sentences.
"Hopefully, this serves as a wakeup call for the public regarding the rampant political malfeasance that takes place in this great nation," commented Frank Stafford, Head Business writer at the online news source, TheCapitalPress.com. "Obviously, scandals can easily shake the public's confidence in its government. However, financial dishonesty in particular is what really causes irreparable damage to the reputation of a public figure."
The colossal spending spree would ultimately amass three-quarters of a million dollars worth of purchases, in an illegal and unethical chain of events which spanned August, 2005 to July, 2012, according to the court's records. The Jackson couple will now serve consecutive jail terms to enable one to be with their children, ages 9 and 13, while the other fulfills prison time.
"I certainly applaud the judge for standing her ground with the harsh sentencing," Garza said. "The public -- but especially other untrustworthy officials engaged in illicit or questionable conduct -- need to know that this behavior won't be tolerated. There are plenty of legal ways for a person to preserve their own personal wealth. Squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated campaign capital, while failing to report any of it as income tax, is absolutely not one of them."
A Dallas Tax Attorney and lead partner at Garza & Harris, Joe B. Garza has earned a reputation as a leading authority on tax and estate planning. With a history of success in preserving his clients' personal wealth and estate values, Joe Garza is sought by clients across the country for his tax planning expertise. Learn more about his tax planning services at http://garzaharris.com.