02/19/2013 12:39 pm ET

Jesse Jackson Jr. Court Appearance: Ex-Congressman Due Before Federal Judge Wednesday

Disgraced ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is due to make his first appearance in federal court Wednesday on charges he misused $750,000 in campaign funds to support lavish and bizarre personal purchases.

Charges for Jackson and his wife Sandi — who faces a tax fraud charge — will be handled in separate hearings, but both will be presided over by the same federal judge, reports Fox Chicago. District court judge Robert Wilkins of Muncie, Ind., will likely preside over a hearing in Sandi Jackson's case Thursday.

A former Chicago City Councilwoman, Sandi Jackson faces significantly less jail time than her husband, and could get off without serving any time at all. Jackson Jr., meanwhile, may be sentenced to serve up to five years.

The Chicago Tribune reports the former U.S. Representative of Illinois 2nd Congressional district could stand to lose his federal pension as well, estimated at $45,000.

This week's appearances will likely include the arraignments and official guilty pleas from the once-powerful political couple. After the pleas, Fox reports it could take weeks to several months before the pair appears again for sentencing.

NBC Chicago notes Wednesday's court appearance will be Jackson's first public one since his summer 2012 leave from Congress when he sought treatment for bi-polar disorder at Mayo Clinic.

Federal prosecutors filed charges against Jackson and his wife Feb. 15. The Rev. Jesse Jackson released a statement Monday saying amid the federal charges, his son was under "strict medical supervision."

Jesse Jackson Jr., 47, resigned from office last November after going on medical leave; he had represented Illinois' 2nd congressional district since 1995.



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