Jeri L. Wright, the daughter of President Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor [Jeremiah Wright], was headed to jail Monday after a judge revoked a deal that allowed her to remain free as she awaits sentencing on a money-laundering conviction.
U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ruled there was probable cause to believe Wright committed a separate theft while on bail, thereby violating terms of her supervised release, according to Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois.
The judge ordered Wright, who appeared in court in Springfield, to be taken into custody by U.S. marshals.
Wright was found guilty last year not only of money-laundering but lying to federal investigators and lying to a grand jury concerning her role in a state grant-fraud scheme orchestrated by one of her childhood friends, former Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans. Between Feb. 12 and May 28 of 2014, Wright allegedly received 13 payments totaling $8,192 from a temporary staffing agency “for work she never performed” for a plastics factory in Franklin, Ind.
Prosecutors now submit that Wright was taking part in another scheme — this one involving ghost payrolling — even as she was standing trial.
Wright’s attorney, Victor P. Henderson, argued that Wright earned the money legitimately and presented emails to the judge that reportedly demonstrate her innocence. Despite that, the judge ordered her detained and set her sentencing in the grant-fraud case for March 20.