The prospect of prison looms over former United States (US) congressman Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife after they agreed to plead guilty to charges in an alleged scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.
These included furs, a gold watch, a football signed by American presidents and even a hat once owned by Michael Jackson.
It wasn't immediately clear how much time either Jackson could end up doing when the legal drama inevitably reaches its climax before a federal sentencing judge within a few months.
But judges frown on brazen breaches of public trust, said one former federal prosecutor, and that may mean the former Chicago congressman will likely have to serve at least a few years behind bars.
"It shows hubris and arrogance that a politician sees his campaign coffers as his to spend as likes," said Jeff Cramer, who as an assistant US attorney in Chicago worked on multiple corruption cases.
Federal prosecutors last Friday filed one charge of conspiracy against the former congressman and charged his ex-alderman wife, Sandra, with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received.