JUDGE: ‘A crime born out of entitlement and greed…’
(Florida Times-Union) Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for fraud and tax crimes that included raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sham charity.
Brown’s longtime chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, and the charity’s founder, One Door for Education President Carla Wiley, was sentenced to 21 months.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said he believed Brown — whose former district included portions of Marion and Alachua counties — used her position in Congress to achieve an “admirable record of service.”
However, he also said she abused the trust of that office in order carry out a criminal conspiracy.
“This is a sad day for everyone,” Corrigan told Brown shortly after announcing her sentence. “I was impressed with all the outpouring of support for you, and I think it’s a tribute to all the work you’ve done over the years. That’s what makes this all the more tragic.”…
He noted the three each reaped the benefits of the illegal scheme, which he described as “especially shameless” since they took money that was supposed to provide educational opportunities for children and instead used it to bankroll a lavish lifestyle.
“This was a crime born out of entitlement and greed committed to ensure a lifestyle that was beyond their means,” Corrigan said. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money if it would have been used for its intended purpose.”
Corrigan ordered Brown to report to prison no earlier than Jan. 8…