A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown on Monday to five years in prison and a three years of supervised release for her conviction on fraud and other charges related to a purported charity for poor students that she used as a personal slush fund.
Brown, 71, will voluntarily surrender, and her report date will not be earlier than Jan. 8. Her attorney, James Smith, said she would appeal the sentence. Brown had been facing the possibility of life in prison.
Judge Timothy Corrigan said it was a “sad day for everyone.”
Brown's former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, was sentenced to 48 months in jail for conspiracy to commit mail/wire fraud and theft of government funds.
Carla Wiley, president of One Door for Education, was sentenced to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release for her part in the case.
Brown served as a representative from northeastern Florida for nearly 25 years. The Democrat was one of the first three blacks to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.
In May, a federal jury convicted Brown of 18 of the 22 charges against her, which included fraud, lying on her tax returns and on her congressional financial disclosures.
Federal prosecutors said the three used One Door to bring in more than $800,000 between 2012 and 2016, including a high-profile golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass. The Virginia-based One Door only gave out one scholarship for $1,200 to an unidentified person in Florida, according to court documents.
Judge on #CorrineBrown: “Today, this court only has before it this case. And after 21 years on the bench, I say with assurance that faced with the same evidence… the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Attorney would have investigated and prosecuted regardless of the individual’s race.” pic.twitter.com/B5lSlXhJd1— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) December 4, 2017