Corrine Brown Going To 5 Year Jail in Fraud Case

by Jared Lewis December 5, 2017, 1:10
Corrine Brown Going To 5 Year Jail in Fraud Case

Former U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown was sentenced to five years in prison today in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida for her role in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving a sham scholarship charity.

One Door's executive director Carla Wiley and Brown's former chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, testified against the Florida Democrat in exchange for plea deals.

Brown's only spoken words during the sentencing were "thank you" directed at Corrigan after he handed down his decision.

Brown, Simmons and Wiley have 14 days to appeal and will be allowed to voluntarily surrender to the Bureau of Prisons no earlier than January 8 2018. Her lawyers also sought a softer sentence in light of her service to the community.

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

Brown's co-conspirators - Simmons, 51, of Laurel, Maryland and Wiley, 55, of Leesburg, Virginia - previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the education charity scheme on February 8, and March 3, 2016, respectively.

The indictment alleged that Brown and Simmons had instead used the majority of the money for themselves - "for personal and professional benefit".

Darker affirmed in her own guard, saying she was left oblivious about the subtle elements of One Door's cash, and faulted the robbery for Simmons.

Last year, Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to cooperate with the government in the case.

For Wiley, the president of the so-called bogus charity all three are accused of stealing from, the judge accepted a reduced guideline range of 21-27 months imprisonment. She also received a $654,000 forfeiture judgment.

Simmons and Wiley arrived Monday morning after Brown, entering the courthouse through a side door.

The three have 14 days to appeal Corrigan's decision. "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".

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.

Her attorney, James Smith, said Brown was prepared for the possibility of a long sentence, and still maintains her innocence.

"The rules, she decided, did not apply to her", Corrigan said.

The Democrat served a Florida district that included Jacksonville during her historic, almost 25-year career.

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