Former Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida was sentenced to 5 years in prison after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors who thought their money was going to charity.
NPR reports, Brown was sentenced on December 4, 2017, by a federal judge. She was voted out of office in 2016 on 18 counts of conspiracy and fraud.
Judge Timothy Corrigan, the judge presiding over the case found the entire situation a tragedy. “It is a sad day for everyone. It is a sad day for this community,” expressed Judge Corrigan. “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.”
In 1992 Brown became one of three African-American lawmakers from Florida to be elected to Congress since the Reconstruction era. She served 12 terms in which she brought change to her state until losing re-election last year due to her indictment.
Her chief of staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons worked with Brown to collect donations for the charity called One Door for Education that provides money to educate children in poverty.
$800,000 was raised for this charity, but only $1,200 went to the charity.
Brown’s sentence of 5 years was significantly reduced from the usual sentence of up to 9 years. Her lawyer is looking to appeal the sentence.
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(Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP)