Tags: US | Former Congresswoman | Fraud Trial

Florida's Ex-US Rep. Corrine Brown Gets 5 Years for Fraud

Florida's Ex-US Rep. Corrine Brown Gets 5 Years for Fraud
Corrine Brown in 2016 (Reuters)

Monday, 04 December 2017 11:57 AM

A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown Monday to five years in prison for fraud and other charges related to a purported charity for poor students that she used as a personal slush fund.

The 71-year-old Brown appeared in court in Jacksonville, a city in the Florida district she represented in Congress during her historic, nearly 25-year career.

Brown, a Democrat who was one of the first three African-Americans to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction, could spend the rest of her life in prison.

A federal jury in May convicted her of 18 of the 22 charges against her, which included fraud, lying on her tax returns and on her congressional financial disclosures.

Prosecutors outlined a pattern of fraud by Brown and her top aide that included using hundreds of thousands of dollars from the One Door for Education Foundation for lavish parties, trips and shopping excursions.

Brown's former chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, and One Door's executive director Carla Wiley accepted plea deals and testified against Brown. They are also scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

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 only gave out one scholarship for $1,200 to an unidentified person in Florida, according to court documents.

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 Brown's personal account.

Brown testified in her own defense, saying she was left in the dark about the details of One Door's money, and blamed the theft on Simmons.

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A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown Monday to five years in prison for fraud and other charges related to a purported charity for poor students that she used as a personal slush fund.The 71-year-old Brown appeared in court in Jacksonville, a city in the...
US, Former Congresswoman, Fraud Trial
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2017-57-04
Monday, 04 December 2017 11:57 AM
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