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Jackson auction halted by another Jackson's possibly fake signature

Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves his sentencing hearing in Washington, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves his sentencing hearing in Washington, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) - The U.S. Marshals Service on Friday canceled an auction of assets forfeited by convicted former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr concerned that one item - a guitar signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen - might be faked.

The Marshals Service said in a statement it had received "legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the guitar" owned by the former Illinois congressman.

Jackson, the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr, was sentenced last month to 2-1/2 years in prison for misuse of campaign funds. Proceeds from the auction were to go toward paying down a $750,000 settlement.

"Because new information has come to light, we are taking additional steps to review all the items," Kim Beal, acting assistant director for the Asset Forfeiture Division of the Marshals Service, said in the statement.

A decision will be made on whether to post any assets for auction, the agency said.

The Marshals Service had said the guitar would have a starting bid of $525. Other items up for auction consisted of pictures and posters signed by Michael Jackson and kung fu star Bruce Lee, two fur coats and two fur capes.

Jackson, a Democrat, had used the campaign funds for personal purchases, such as kitchen appliances, clothing, collector's items, food, travel and health club dues, according to the charges against him.

His wife, Sandi, a former Chicago City Council member, was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint income tax returns that understated the couple's earnings.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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