A federal judge in Florida has sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to five years in prison, followed by three years of probation, for fraud and other charges related to a purported charity for poor students that she used as a personal slush fund.
Prosecutors are asking the judge not to sentence her to anything less than 5 years in prison, but her attorneys only want probation. "I was impressed with all the outpouring of support for you and it's a tribute to you and the work you've done. and that makes it more tragic and sad".
"It is an exceptionally hard task, but rooting out public corruption is a priority for which the Federal Bureau of Investigation will continue to dedicate the resources necessary to investigate, because the impact on everyday people is real", Spencer declared.
Simmons testified against Brown as part of the plea deal. The judge also cited her history of overcoming obstacles as a black woman in the South as she built a trailblazing career.
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Under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan, Brown will be allowed to turn herself in no earlier than January 8.
The 12-term congresswoman's sentence comes after she was convicted in May on 18 felony counts that included wire fraud, mail fraud, concealing material facts on congressional financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns.
Two other people implicated in the scam were sentenced Monday - One Door president Carla Wiley and former Brown chief of staff Ronnie Simmons. All three defendants were ordered to pay total restitution of $452,515.87 to victims of the fraud scheme. Testimony by One Door donors established that Brown and her coconspirators solicited donations from individuals and corporate entities that Brown knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"This was a crime born out of entitlement and greed committed to ensure a lifestyle that was beyond their means", Corrigan said. In another instance, Brown and a close relative used the proceeds of a $3,000 One Door check referencing "children summer camps" in the memo line for their personal benefit.
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Federal prosecutors said the three used One Door to bring in more than $800,000 between 2012 and 2016, including a high-profile golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass.
The Virginia-based One Door just gave out one grant for $1,200 to a unidentified individual in Florida, as indicated by court records.
Additionally, trial evidence established that Brown engaged in a scheme to hide reportable income she received from One Door, and from other sources, on annual financial disclosure forms she was required to file with the U.S. House of Representatives. She ran for reelection last November but lost to Al Lawson, who now sits in her seat in Washington, D.C.
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