Former Florida Democratic Representative Corrine Brown was sentenced on Monday for mail, wire and tax fraud involving a sham charity. Five years in jail for this corrupt Democrat, who spent almost 25 years in Congress.
Brown was convicted by a jury for stealing money from a fake charity, One Door For Education, which was supposed to be giving scholarships to poor children instead of filling her bank account.
Federal prosecutors were able to prove that she and a top aide committed fraud by using donation for expensive parties and luxurious trips.
The president of One Door, Carla Wiley, plead guilty earlier this year to just one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it was discovered that she had deposited more than $800,000 into the foundation’s account. During the four years in question, prosecutors determined that One Door gave but one scholarship for $1000, and that Wiley had transferred tens of thousands of dollars into her personal account.
Brown’s former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, who was sentenced to 48 months in prison, and the charity’s president, who was sentenced to 21 months, testified against Brown as part of the plea deal.
Brown testified in court that she had no idea what was going on with One Door’s finances, and placed all the blame on her former chief of staff.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said at sentencing, “Ms. Brown was personally responsible for all or nearly all of the $833,000 that flowed into One Door because, without her clout, donors would not have given to One Door. Even if she did not know how all the money was being used, there was never any intent that the bulk of the money would be used for charitable purposes.”
Corrigan said Brown, 71, would report to prison no earlier than Jan. 8 to an as-yet undetermined prison, but allowed her to remain free until then. The Bureau of Prisons will decide the date she must surrender to authorities.