Former Rep. Corrine Brown has been sentenced to five years in prison for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors who believed their money was going to charity.
"This is a sad day for everyone", U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan told Brown shortly after sentencing her, according to the Florida Times-Union.
Brown's only spoken words during the sentencing were "thank you" directed at Corrigan after he handed down his decision. Simmons pleaded guilty to some charges earlier this year, leading to Brown's conviction. Her lawyers also sought a softer sentence in light of her service to the community.
Brown was convicted in May of 18 charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aiding and abetting mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, scheme to hide material facts, corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of internal revenue law, and filing false tax returns. In another instance, Brown and a close relative used the proceeds of a $3,000 One Door check referencing "children summer camps" in the memo line for their personal benefit.
Simmons and Wiley pleaded guilty to their charges and testified against Brown on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the trial last summer. Wiley received a one-year sentence, followed by three years of probation.
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.
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He knows exactly what I can give to the team". "The other is what I did, put your head down and be humble, show him that he's wrong". "I must say I'm very proud of this".
Brown got 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release, $62,650 to the IRS, and $452,000 of additional restitution, and $664,000 of forfeiture.
For Simmons, Brown's former chief of staff, the judge recommended 33-41 months imprisonment. Her attorney said she plans to appeal the sentence.
As a condition of their voluntary surrender, Brown can not leave the Middle District of Florida, and Simmons and Wiley are bound to Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He was convicted last year of 23 charges and sentenced to 10 years behind bars, but Brady said the federal Office of Personnel and Management reported that he, too, still had appeals that kept his payments coming.
"The rules, she decided, did not apply to her", Corrigan said.
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.
Corrigan, who has been a USA district judge for Florida's Middle District for 15 years, oversaw the case against former Jacksonville Port Authority vice chairman Tony Nelson five years ago.