Former US Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) Appeared in federal court in 2016. A federal judge sentenced Brown to five years in prison on December 4. (Reuters)
A federal judge sentenced the former US representative. UU Corrine Brown to five years in prison on Monday, months after a jury condemned the Florida Democratic fraud for using a charity for poor students as his personal expense account.
The accusations – which, in addition to fraud, included lying about tax forms and revelations from Congress – had already cost Brown his seat in Congress: he lost a primary last year amid the scandal.
Prosecutors argued that the 71-year-old man had turned a charity for poor students into an $ 800,000 fund for personal bribes, according to The Associated Press.
After a nearly 25-year career in Congress, she was sentenced in May and could have spent the rest of her life in prison.
"This is a sad day for everyone," US District Judge Timothy Corrigan told Bro Poco after sentencing her, according to the Florida Times-Union. "I was impressed by all the support he gave you, and I think it is a tribute to all the work he has done over the years, which is what makes this even more tragic."
Brown became a politician in the 1980s, according to Amber Phillips of The Washington Post. She was elected to the Florida legislature in the 1980s and joined the House in 1993; At that time, she was one of three African-Americans elected to Congress by Sunshine State since Reconstruction.
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In January 2016, Brown received a citation while eating at a Jacksonville barbecue restaurant.
Court documents stated that she and her chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" "Simmons, raised more than $ 800,000 for the One Door for Education scholarship fund, but had only awarded two scholarships worth $ 1,200
The indictment alleged that Brown and Simmons had instead used most of the money for themselves – "for personal and professional benefit. "
They threw lavish parties, took expensive trips, and made shopping trips."
Simmons and the charity's executive director, Carla Wiley, testified against Brown in exchange for plea agreements, both of which were also scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.
Simmons told the jury that he was told to take cash and checks and deposit the money into Brown's personal account dozens of times, according to the AP.
Brown testified on his own defense, blaming Simmons' theft.
And at a hearing last month, his attorneys argued for leniency, saying that Brown's community work should mitigate his crimes, the AP reported.
But Corrigan, the federal judge, called Brown's actions "Especially shameless."
"This was a crime born of the right and greed committed to guarantee a lifestyle that was beyond their power. sibilities, "he said during the sentencing hearing on Monday, according to Times-Union.
"Just think of the good that could have been done with that money if it had been used for its intended purpose."
Corrigan, according to the Times-Union, told Brown he had an "admirable record of service" .  He added: "This is a sad day for everyone I was impressed by the huge amount 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 be even more tragic. "
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