Former congresswoman Corrine Brown gets stiff prison sentence
07 Décembre, 2017, 03:46 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
The former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown accused of fraud has been sentenced to five years behind bars for mail, wire and tax fraud.
The government argued that Brown used her clout to raise more than $830,000 for One Door, telling donors the money was for serving underprivileged youth through scholarships and educational services.
Simmons was ordered to 48 months in prison, three years of supervised release and will have to pay $452,515 in restitution to the government along with a $727,964 forfeiture judgment. She also received a $654,000 forfeiture judgment.
He blamed what Brown did on "entitlement and greed".
Brown was at the center of a scheme, described as "shameless" by Judge Corrigan, that collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for One Door for Education, an unregistered charity - funds that were used instead to pad a lavish lifestyle that far exceeded the lawmaker's means. It is a sad day for this community. "I was impressed with all the outpouring of support for you, and I think it's a tribute to all the work you've done over the years".
Brown's attorney, James Smith, asked Corrigan to waive her travel restrictions since she has business to attend to in the nation's capital this week. She was unrepentant even when the presented evidence contradicted her claims of innocence. "The rules, she decided, did not apply to her".
Simmons testified against Brown as part of the plea deal.
One Door president Carla Wiley also pleaded guilty to charges.
"Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the congresswoman's official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund", Caldwell explained of Brown and her chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons. The Virginia-based foundation only gave out one scholarship for $1,200 to an unidentified person in Florida, according to court documents.
Brown, 71, represented the congressional district that stretched from Jacksonville to Orlando for almost 25 years.
Instead, prosecutors said the money was used to pay for special events hosted or put on in her name, National Football League and concert tickets and other personal financial matters. Her political career ended when she was defeated in last year's primary race. She was asking for probation.
Dark colored, a Democrat who was one of the initial three African-Americans to be chosen to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction, was indicted by a government jury in May on 18 of the 22 charges against her, which included misrepresentation, lying on her assessment forms and on her congressional budgetary divulgences.
A federal judge sentenced Brown, 71, to five years in prison and she was ordered to turn herself in to federal authorities no later than January 8.
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