Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Florida former congresswoman gets 5 years after fraud conviction

Florida former congresswoman gets 5 years after fraud conviction

A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to five years in prison on Monday, months after a jury convicted the Florida Democrat of fraud for using a charity for poor students as her personal expense account.

A jury convicted her on 18 of the 22 charges in the fraud case. 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. "We thank our law enforcement partners at the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section, IRS-CI and U.S. Attorney's Office for their efforts to hold Brown and her associates accountable for their inexcusable actions".

Corrigan did not believe this explanation - though he did grant Brown a lighter sentence than the maximum for the crimes, which ranged up to nine years. The judge also cited her history of overcoming obstacles as a black woman in the South as she built a trailblazing career. The Congresswoman and her top aide used hundreds of thousands of dollars from the charity for parties, expensive trips, and shopping sprees.

"It is a sad day for everyone".

Brown represented a Florida district that included Jacksonville during her almost 25-year career.

"Considering all the work that she has done it is sad day, very sad day", Bolden said.

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The judge said Brown used her high profile to lure donors to fundraisers, abusing her power, and was unrepentant when faced with evidence that contradicted her claims of innocence. A federal judge on Monday sentenced the Florida Democrat, who was voted out of office previous year, on 18 crimes ranging from conspiracy to fraud.

"I think she will be remembered for all the great things she has done and she should be remembered", Brown said.

Dark colored's previous head of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, and One Door's official chief Carla Wiley had acknowledged supplication bargains and affirmed against Brown. Simmons was condemned to four years in jail, trailed by three years of probation, and Wiley got a one-year sentence following by three years of probation.

Simmons told jurors that his boss ordered him to take cash and checks from One Door's account on dozens of occasions and deposit the money into the congresswoman's personal account.

Trial evidence also showed that more than $300,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a Beyoncé concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an National Football League game in the Washington, D.C., area.

And at a hearing last month, her attorneys argued for leniency, saying Brown's community work should mitigate her crimes, the AP reported. City Councilman Reginald Brown, who isn't related to Brown, was in the courtroom during her sentence.

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