Corrine Brown Going To 5 Year Jail in Fraud Case

Corrine Brown in a 2010

Corrine Brown in a 2010

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for her involvement in the fraudulent charity, One Door for Education.

Brown, 71, listened stoically in a Jacksonville courtroom as U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan read her sentence. Evidence at trial further showed that Brown failed to report on her personal tax returns for tax years 2009 through 2014 income derived from over $160,000 in cash deposited into her bank accounts, and claimed false deductions for purported charitable donations to One Door, as well as to local churches and non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area, that Brown never made. "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".

She was charged with and convicted of 22 counts of fraud and tax evasion.

The sentencing essentially gave voice to the jury's verdict, with Judge Timothy Corrigan noting that Brown's comments were "reprehensible" at times, such as when she said the Pulse massacre happened because the Federal Bureau of Investigation was too busy investigating her.

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, the newspaper reported. "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".

Brown's attorney, James Smith, is asking Corrigan to sentence the 71-year-old former congresswoman to probation instead, citing her record of public service, health and age.

In November, Corrigan agreed to reduce the sentencing guideline ranges for Brown's accomplices Ronnie Simmons and Carla Wiley because their cooperation and testimony helped convict the former congresswoman.

They were additionally condemned Monday.

The advisory guideline range from Brown's probation officer is seven to nine years in prison. They too were requested to hand themselves over no sooner than January 8.

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

Brown has maintained her innocence by placing the blame on Simmons and Wiley.

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