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Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 4, 201701:47 PM EST

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison

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Brown’s only spoken words during the sentencing were “thank you” directed at judge.
by: David Cawton Staff Writer

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.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan issued sentences for Brown and two co-conspirators, her former chief of staff Ronnie Simmons and One Door founder Carla Wiley, at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse.

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

In addition to prison time, Brown, 71, received three years of post-incarceration supervised release and she will have to pay $62,650 in restitution to the IRS and $452,515 in restitution to the government.

Her sentence also includes a $664,292 forfeiture. 

The 12-term congresswoman’s sentence comes after she was convicted in May on 18 felony counts that included wire fraud, mail fraud, concealing material facts on congressional financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns.

The government argued that Brown used her clout to raise more than $830,000 for One Door, telling donors the money was for serving underprivileged youth through scholarships and educational services.

Instead, prosecutors said the money was used to pay for special events hosted or put on in her name, NFL and concert tickets and other personal financial matters.

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

Simmons and Wiley pleaded guilty to their charges and testified against Brown on behalf of the FBI during the trial last summer.

For their parts, Simmons and Wiley were given lesser sentences.

Wiley, who founded the charity in 2011 to honor her mother, received 21 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and is ordered to pay $454,515 in restitution. She also received a $654,000 forfeiture judgment.

Simmons was ordered to 48 months in prison, three years of supervised release and will have to pay $452,515 in restitution to the government along with a $727,964 forfeiture judgment.

Simmons also will have to repay $91,621 to the U.S. House of Representatives for creating a fake congressional staffing position for his sister from 2001-16.

The three have 14 days to appeal Corrigan’s decision. Only Brown’s attorneys told the judge an appeal was imminent.

As a condition of their voluntary surrender, Brown cannot leave the Middle District of Florida, and Simmons and Wiley are bound to Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Brown’s attorney, James Smith, asked Corrigan to waive her travel restrictions since she has business to attend to in the nation’s capital this week. Corrigan said he would review that request.

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 Jan. 8.

Brown, a Democrat, served Florida’s 5th Congressional District from 1993 through early 2017.

She was defeated in the November election by Democrat Al Lawson, who took office Jan. 3.

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