Former Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown, a longtime ally of Barack Obama’s, was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for mail, wire and tax fraud involving a sham charity.
Fox News reported that this came after Brown was found guilty of stealing money from a bogus charity, One Door For Education, which purported to give scholarships to poor children but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates. Prosecutors said that Brown and one of her aides took donations and used the money on lavish vacations and parties.
Brown served in Congress for almost 25 years before she was finally defeated in 2016. A few months ago, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it was determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation’s account over four years.
Brown’s former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, also plead guilty and testified against the disgraced former congresswoman.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan slammed Brown for abusing public trust.
“This is a sad day for everyone,” said Corrigan. “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.”
“This was a crime born of entitlement and greed, committed to supporting a lifestyle that was beyond their means,” Corrigan added. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money if it would have been used for its intended purpose.”
He went on to describe Brown’s actions as “especially shameless.”
“This was a crime born out of entitlement and greed committed to ensure a lifestyle that was beyond their means,” the judge said. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money if it would have been used for its intended purpose.”
Once she is released from prison, Brown will be on probation for three years.