Former Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., a longtime ally to Hillary Clinton, is scheduled to begin her prison sentence on Monday after being found guilty on 18 federal fraud and corruption charges. The disgraced former congresswoman represented Florida’s 5th Congressional District for nearly 25 years before she and her chief of staff were caught in a conspiracy to defraud an education charity.
The defunct charity was supposed to give scholarships to poor children in the First Coast Community, but instead the money filled the pockets of Mrs. Brown and her associates. Brown claimed to be a victim of her chief of staff Ronnie Simmons, but on most counts the jury didn’t buy it.
Brown and Simmons solicited donations from individuals and corporate entities that she knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives. The defendants led many of these donors to believe that the defunct charity known as One Door was a properly-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, when, in fact, it was not.
Simmons and Carla Wiley, the president of One Door, used the vast majority of the so-called charity’s donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits Simmons made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.
From 1993 to 2016, Simmons controlled Brown’s finances for Friends of Corrine Brown and Florida Delivers Leadership PAC.
The now-disgraced congresswoman appeared on materials, such as brochures, for the group, including a golf tournament at which money was raised.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan ordered her to to report to the Federal Correctional Complex before noon. It’s the same location where notorious Boston gangster James Whitey Bulger is currently serving time, as is a known Mexican drug cartel boss and an attempted suicide bomber.
However, Brown will serve out her sentence at the minimum-security women’s camp adjacent to Coleman Medium Federal Correctional Institution in Sumter County.