Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Former US Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison

Rep Corrine Brown 5a26d2a548557 Former US Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison
Faye Gross | 05 December, 2017, 01:58

A government judge on Monday condemned previous U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to five years in jail on misrepresentation and different charges identified with an implied philanthropy for poor understudies that she utilized as an individual slush finance.

Simmons was sentenced to four years in prison, News4Jax reported.

Evidence at trial showed that between late 2012 and early 2016, Brown, Simmons and Wiley participated in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving One Door for Education - Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund (One Door) in which the defendants and others acting on their behalf solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations based on false representations that the donations would be used for college scholarships and school computer drives, among other charitable causes.

If no appeals are filed, or if they are dismissed, all three will be required to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons no earlier than January 8.

Her sentence also includes a $664,292 forfeiture.

For their parts, Simmons and Wiley were given lesser sentences.

Brown will appeal, though attorney James Smith has yet to determine if he will see that appeal through.

Brown, 71, was well-known during her tenure as one of the first three African Americans to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. Wiley received a one-year sentence, followed by three years of probation. An additional $721,000 of forfeiture is due.

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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 has never admitted guilt, except for saying she trusted without "verifying", in a November plea for "mercy and compassion". "She also let them down by selfishly neglecting her duty to pay an honest tax". "It is a sad day for this community", Corrigan said.

$330,000 went to events held in Brown's honor, Corrigan said, events that had "nothing to do" with One Door or charity for children.

"The public had a right to expect", Corrigan said, that Brown and Simmons would not "abuse their positions of public trust and responsibility ... this was a crime borne of entitlement and greed ... bad business".

Wiley, who founded the bogus charity at the center of the corruption case, was given 21 months in prison with three years of probation and will have to pay $252 month in restitution, according to our News4Jax partner.

If the judge decides that's true, it will increase her sentence.

As well, "obstruction of justice" did not apply to Brown, per Corrigan's calculation.

That was the sole bit of good news, as Corrigan said that "brazen doesn't begin to describe" the scheme.

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