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The Latest Story From The Trial

  • The three people involved in a fraud scheme that involved a sham education charity sat within feet of each other in front of a federal judge, but didn’t exchange any words or even looks as the federal judge sentenced each to time in prison. Former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown will serve five years, after  being convicted on 18 charges connected to the fraud, which involved soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a sham charity organization and using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead.  Her two co-defendants both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown. Her former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons has been sentenced to four years, and the President of “One Door For Education”- the organization they funneled money through- Carla Wiley, will serve one year and nine months. All three had been hoping to avoid any time in prison outright. The judge is allowing the co-defendants to voluntarily surrender for their prison term at a date to be determined by the Bureau of Prisons, but no earlier than January 8th. Until then, the travel of Simmons and Wiley is restricted to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, and Brown is restricted to the Middle District of Florida, unless they get approval from pre-trial officers. They will also surrender their passports and will report to pre-trial services. The government did not object to any of these terms. All three additionall will face supervised release after their prison terms, as well as forfeiture and restitution totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars- which the Judge ordered be paid in $250 per month installments upon release from prison. FULL COVERAGE:  The federal fraud case of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown WOKV has been following this case since early last year, when Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to cooperated with the government as they continued to build their case. In July, Brown and Simmons were indicted- Brown on 22 charges and Simmons on 19.  Earlier this year, Simmons pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and theft of government funds, and also agreed to cooperate with the prosecution. Brown then faced trial in May, and was convicted on 18 charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aiding and abetting mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, scheme to conceal material facts, corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of internal revenue law, and filing false tax returns. Wiley founded One Door with good intentions, but it was essentially dormant until Simmons- her boyfriend at the time- took control. Judge Timothy Corrigan says one of the victims in this case is One Door itself, because financial records show more than $800,000 moved through the organization, but it didn’t go to the charitable purpose donors expected. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money,” says Corrigan, adding that the defendants “systematically looted” the funds. Wiley’s theft came through online transfers from One Door’s bank account, which were conducted separately from the scheme involving Brown and Simmons. Corrigan says there  were no indications Wiley would have stopped had she not been caught, and she was also aware of the theft by Brown and Simmons and did nothing to stop it. “A sentence of probation would not be sufficient to account for such audacious and long-term misconduct,” he says. Simmons would withdraw money from One Door’s account and deposit it in to Brown’s account or give her cash, according to the case that was presented. He would also sometimes give Brown blank, signed One Door checks, and took One Door money for his own use as well. Simmons and others testified that the transactions involving One Door’s account were performed at Brown’s direction, and prosecutors say Brown abused the public’s trust and duped donors. Corrigan, with his sentencing, agreed. “One Door For Education was operated as a criminal enterprise by Carla Wiley, Ronnie Simmons, and Corrine Brown,” Corrigan says. Simmons additionally admitted to getting his sister a salary from the House of Representatives, even though she did little to no actual work. Simmons further took some of the money that his sister was receiving through the ghost job. All these factors considered, the judge actually recommended Simmons for a sentence above what his advisory guidelines called for. Brown was separately found guilty of lying on her financial disclosure forms and tax returns by underreporting income she received from One Door and overreporting her donations to charity, including claiming donations to One Door. “Having routinely converted One Door money for her own personal use, Ms. Brown turned around and falsely state on her tax returns that she had actually donated money to One Door for which she claimed a substantial charitable deduction. Brazen barely describes it,” Corrigan says. Brown continues to maintain her innocence, saying she was duped by Simmons and mismanaged her office and personal finances but never intended to engage in criminal acts. During her sentencing hearing a few weeks ago, she asked for “mercy and compassion” from the Judge. Her defense asked the Judge to consider her history of public service, age, lack of criminal history, and other factors in his sentencing. But Corrigan found Brown and Simmons abused their positions and traded on Brown’s position and the trust people had in her, for their own financial benefit. “The public had a right to expect that Ms. Brown, as an elected member of Congress, and Mr. Simmons, her longtime Chief of Staff, would not abuse their positions of public trust and responsibility,” Corrigan says. Simmons and Wiley both accepted responsibility in front of the Judge and apologized for their actions. The government recommended leniency as a result of their substantial cooperation and other factors. While the judge noted that as significant, he did not think justice would be achieved with any of the defendants avoiding prison outright. He did also find it notable that Brown continued to not accept responsibility. “While Ms. Brown is of course free to maintain her innocence, because she stands before the Court at sentencing unrepentant, she cannot be accorded the same sentencing considerations as someone who accepts responsibility for her wrongful action, expresses remorse, and promises to make amends,” he says. Brown’s attorney says they plan to not only appeal, but ask that she remain out on bond pending that appeal. Simmons and Wiley both have the right to appeal their sentences, but neither have indicated if they will do that. Despite these ongoing legal problems, Brown has continued to draw in supporters. Corrigan says he has received “hundreds” of letters in support of Brown, and that he read every one in his consideration of her sentence.  When the courtroom doors opened Monday for the sentencing pronouncement, there were dozens of people waiting to get in, and the courtroom itself filled up within minutes. An overflow courtroom was also open, as it has been through the trial and many of the proceedings. The US Attorney’s Office declined to comment about today’s sentencing pronouncement. The FBI Jacksonville has issued a statement  Special Agent in Charge Charles P. Spencer. 'It is incredibly disappointing that an elected official, who took an oath year after year to serve others, would exploit the needs of children and abuse the charitable hearts of constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas, and deliver them with virtually nothing. I am proud of the exceptional work of the special agents, analysts and support personnel who spent countless hours following the money trail in this case. Their work is some of the most complex, tedious, and significant work we do for the American public. It is an exceptionally difficult task, but rooting out public corruption is a priority for which the FBI will continue to dedicate the resources necessary to investigate, because the impact on everyday people is real. We thank our law enforcement partners at the IRS-CI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts to hold Brown and her associates accountable for their inexcusable actions.” This is a developing story that will be updated through the day. Get frequent updates on 104.5FM/AM 690 and on Twitter.

Recent Headlines

  • The three people involved in a fraud scheme that involved a sham education charity sat within feet of each other in front of a federal judge, but didn’t exchange any words or even looks as the federal judge sentenced each to time in prison. Former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown will serve five years, after  being convicted on 18 charges connected to the fraud, which involved soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a sham charity organization and using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead.  Her two co-defendants both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown. Her former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons has been sentenced to four years, and the President of “One Door For Education”- the organization they funneled money through- Carla Wiley, will serve one year and nine months. All three had been hoping to avoid any time in prison outright. The judge is allowing the co-defendants to voluntarily surrender for their prison term at a date to be determined by the Bureau of Prisons, but no earlier than January 8th. Until then, the travel of Simmons and Wiley is restricted to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, and Brown is restricted to the Middle District of Florida, unless they get approval from pre-trial officers. They will also surrender their passports and will report to pre-trial services. The government did not object to any of these terms. All three additionall will face supervised release after their prison terms, as well as forfeiture and restitution totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars- which the Judge ordered be paid in $250 per month installments upon release from prison. FULL COVERAGE:  The federal fraud case of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown WOKV has been following this case since early last year, when Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to cooperated with the government as they continued to build their case. In July, Brown and Simmons were indicted- Brown on 22 charges and Simmons on 19.  Earlier this year, Simmons pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and theft of government funds, and also agreed to cooperate with the prosecution. Brown then faced trial in May, and was convicted on 18 charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aiding and abetting mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, scheme to conceal material facts, corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of internal revenue law, and filing false tax returns. Wiley founded One Door with good intentions, but it was essentially dormant until Simmons- her boyfriend at the time- took control. Judge Timothy Corrigan says one of the victims in this case is One Door itself, because financial records show more than $800,000 moved through the organization, but it didn’t go to the charitable purpose donors expected. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money,” says Corrigan, adding that the defendants “systematically looted” the funds. Wiley’s theft came through online transfers from One Door’s bank account, which were conducted separately from the scheme involving Brown and Simmons. Corrigan says there  were no indications Wiley would have stopped had she not been caught, and she was also aware of the theft by Brown and Simmons and did nothing to stop it. “A sentence of probation would not be sufficient to account for such audacious and long-term misconduct,” he says. Simmons would withdraw money from One Door’s account and deposit it in to Brown’s account or give her cash, according to the case that was presented. He would also sometimes give Brown blank, signed One Door checks, and took One Door money for his own use as well. Simmons and others testified that the transactions involving One Door’s account were performed at Brown’s direction, and prosecutors say Brown abused the public’s trust and duped donors. Corrigan, with his sentencing, agreed. “One Door For Education was operated as a criminal enterprise by Carla Wiley, Ronnie Simmons, and Corrine Brown,” Corrigan says. Simmons additionally admitted to getting his sister a salary from the House of Representatives, even though she did little to no actual work. Simmons further took some of the money that his sister was receiving through the ghost job. All these factors considered, the judge actually recommended Simmons for a sentence above what his advisory guidelines called for. Brown was separately found guilty of lying on her financial disclosure forms and tax returns by underreporting income she received from One Door and overreporting her donations to charity, including claiming donations to One Door. “Having routinely converted One Door money for her own personal use, Ms. Brown turned around and falsely state on her tax returns that she had actually donated money to One Door for which she claimed a substantial charitable deduction. Brazen barely describes it,” Corrigan says. Brown continues to maintain her innocence, saying she was duped by Simmons and mismanaged her office and personal finances but never intended to engage in criminal acts. During her sentencing hearing a few weeks ago, she asked for “mercy and compassion” from the Judge. Her defense asked the Judge to consider her history of public service, age, lack of criminal history, and other factors in his sentencing. But Corrigan found Brown and Simmons abused their positions and traded on Brown’s position and the trust people had in her, for their own financial benefit. “The public had a right to expect that Ms. Brown, as an elected member of Congress, and Mr. Simmons, her longtime Chief of Staff, would not abuse their positions of public trust and responsibility,” Corrigan says. Simmons and Wiley both accepted responsibility in front of the Judge and apologized for their actions. The government recommended leniency as a result of their substantial cooperation and other factors. While the judge noted that as significant, he did not think justice would be achieved with any of the defendants avoiding prison outright. He did also find it notable that Brown continued to not accept responsibility. “While Ms. Brown is of course free to maintain her innocence, because she stands before the Court at sentencing unrepentant, she cannot be accorded the same sentencing considerations as someone who accepts responsibility for her wrongful action, expresses remorse, and promises to make amends,” he says. Brown’s attorney says they plan to not only appeal, but ask that she remain out on bond pending that appeal. Simmons and Wiley both have the right to appeal their sentences, but neither have indicated if they will do that. Despite these ongoing legal problems, Brown has continued to draw in supporters. Corrigan says he has received “hundreds” of letters in support of Brown, and that he read every one in his consideration of her sentence.  When the courtroom doors opened Monday for the sentencing pronouncement, there were dozens of people waiting to get in, and the courtroom itself filled up within minutes. An overflow courtroom was also open, as it has been through the trial and many of the proceedings. The US Attorney’s Office declined to comment about today’s sentencing pronouncement. The FBI Jacksonville has issued a statement  Special Agent in Charge Charles P. Spencer. 'It is incredibly disappointing that an elected official, who took an oath year after year to serve others, would exploit the needs of children and abuse the charitable hearts of constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas, and deliver them with virtually nothing. I am proud of the exceptional work of the special agents, analysts and support personnel who spent countless hours following the money trail in this case. Their work is some of the most complex, tedious, and significant work we do for the American public. It is an exceptionally difficult task, but rooting out public corruption is a priority for which the FBI will continue to dedicate the resources necessary to investigate, because the impact on everyday people is real. We thank our law enforcement partners at the IRS-CI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts to hold Brown and her associates accountable for their inexcusable actions.” This is a developing story that will be updated through the day. Get frequent updates on 104.5FM/AM 690 and on Twitter.
  • For prosecutors, this is a case that makes a statement that public corruption will not stand. “Imprisonment in this case is unequivocally necessary,” says Assistant US Attorney A. Tysen Duva. But in the eyes of the defense, a longtime Congresswoman- Corrine Brown- needs to be credited for her decades of public service. “If you balance this offence with all of the good that she has done, it doesn’t just outweigh it, it substantially outweighs it,” says Brown’s attorney James Smith III. FULL COVERAGE: The federal fraud case of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown 16 character witnesses presented before US District Judge Timothy Corrigan during the sentencing hearing for the now-former Northeast Florida Democratic Representative. For some, Brown was the godmother to a child, to others she was a tireless public servant, to still others she was an inspiration. “Devoted, faithful, committed,” says Bishop Kelvin Cobaris, the President of the African American Council of Christian Clergy, in central Florida. “She means the absolute world to me,” says a longtime friend of Brown. “It was not just saving people’s homes, she was saving people’s lives,” says Neighborhood Assistance Cooperation of America founder and CEO Bruce Marks. Corrigan says he’s also received likely more than 100 letters about Brown’s case, 99% of which were in support of her and pleading for leniency in her sentencing, as the defense seeks probation. “The sentence that we are asking for is extraordinary, but that sentence is being asked for on behalf of someone who’s extraordinary and has lived an extraordinary life,” Smith says. But prosecutors have now confirmed they’re recommending Corrigan adopt what the advisory sentencing guidelines call for in this case- up to nine years in prison. If the Court seeks to give Brown a lighter sentence, the government wants her to serve no less than five years. “This was a significant criminal case,” Duva says. Duva says Brown obstructed justice during the trial proceedings through several statements she made while testifying in her own defense.  He says she improperly shifted blame to others like her CPA, denied knowledge about the fraud scheme which prosecutors say she had, and gave explanations for cash payments that didn’t make sense. “Corrine Brown committed crimes on that witness stand. She lied for hours on end,” Duva says. Corrigan says this is something he plans to very carefully consider, after Smith raised an objection to classifying any of Brown’s testimony as obstruction of justice. “Just because a person testifies at trial and is convicted, doesn’t mean they committed perjury,” he says. Duva also read several statements Brown has made pre-indictment, post-indictment, and post-verdict, criticizing the justice system, implying she was being targeted for political or racial reasons, and suggesting the jury was tampered with. “Just totally ludicrous and it makes no sense,” Duva says. Smith asked Corrigan to understand that Brown grew up in a different time and under different circumstances, where racism exsited and it was never thought that an African American woman who did not come from an elite background could rise to Congress. He implored Corrigan not to sentence her based on those statements. “Sometimes, as a 71-year-old black woman, she’s reminded of the scars she’s gained by fighting for all of us,” Smith says. Smith also told the court he objects to much of the Pre-Sentence Report that was put together by Brown’s Probation Officer, because Brown still maintains her innocence and, as such, does not concur with the facts that are laid out. That objection was preserved for appeal. Brown did address the judge herself, chiefly thanking family and supporters for their continued support and prayers. “I am sorry that you have to be here today to see me in this situation. I have always tried to protect my name and reputation, I would never imagine that one day I would be in court to ask people to speak on my behalf. I have learned from this unfortunate turn of events that too many times I have trusted without verifying. In hindsight I wish that I had been more diligent in overseeing my personal and professional life,” she says. She told the judge she has worked to help people, and public service has been an honor and priviledge. “I humbly ask for mercy and compassion,” Brown says. The government says the real tragedy and victim in this case is all the money that could have been used for charitable purposes, if Brown followed through on her promises to donors. “Throughout, it was all about raising scholarship money for kids, and that never happened,” Duva says. Brown was convicted in May on 18 federal charges for her role in soliciting donations to a sham charity and using the money instead on personal expenses. The charges also include that Brown lied on tax returns and financial disclosure forms by underreporting her income and overreporting charitable contributions. Corrigan heard arguments today, but will not issue the sentence order for Brown or her two co-defendants until December 4th.  “Judges are humans too, and all I can do is the best I can do, and I will do the best I can do,” he says. Brown’s former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of the sham charity money was funneled through Carla Wiley both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown at her trial. They had their sentencing hearing Wednesday, which established advisory guidelines that could have Wiley serve between one year nine months and two years three months, with Simmons potentially serving between two years nine months and three years five months. Both expressed remorse during their statements to Corrigan. While Corrigan has the advisory sentencing guidelines for all three defendants, he will also weigh other factors, and has discretion to impose the sentences he sees as appropriate in each case. Smith is also disputing what the government has valued as loss associated with this case. Among his objections is that prosecutors claimed around $330,000 used on events was loss in this case, because the people who donated thought their money would benefit charitable purposes. The defense says the events did happen, so claiming the money is improper. Attorneys for Brown, Simmons, Wiley, and the government have been asked to try to work through their differences on loss and forfeiture sums, and must submit any outstanding objections by next week.
  • The two people who pleaded guilty in connection to the federal fraud case against now-former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown have both made their cases on why they should avoid prison time. US District Judge Timothy Corrigan approved more lenient advisory sentencing guidelines because of the “substantial assistance” Carla Wiley and Ronnie Simmons provided, but won’t issue the sentences themselves until December 4th- after he’s also heard Brown present her case Thursday. Simmons’ advisory guidelines put his sentence between 2 years 9 months and 3 years 5 months and Wiley’s advisory guidelines fall between 1 year 9 months and 2 years 3 months, but Corrigan emphasized that there are many other factors he will consider as part of the final sentence- which is not bound to fall within these guidelines. Prosecutors say they wouldn’t object to an even lighter sentence for Wiley, but they believe Simmons’ range is appropriate for this case. Wiley is asking for probation and community service with the possibility of some home confinement, while Simmons is pushing for home confinement and community service, to include mentoring and speaking out in favor of the justice system. Brown is also seeking to avoid prison time, but prosecutors have not yet disclosed exactly how much time they will seek for her. The advisory guidelines assembled by her Probation Officer- which don’t reflect any enhancements recommended by prosecutors or objections from the defense- falls between 7 years 3 months and 9 years, according to her defense. FULL COVERAGE:The trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown Brown and Simmons are accused of soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars to the sham charity “One Door For Education”- which Wiley founded and was the President of- but using the money for personal expenses and lavish events, instead of education scholarships or other programs benefiting underprivileged youth, as advertised. Wiley admitted to transferring a total of around $182,000 from One Door’s account online in to her own account, while Simmons would use the ATM and One Door’s check book to make withdrawals and deposits, giving much of the money to Brown. Both Wiley and Simmons pleaded guilty ahead of the trial, and the government spent time detailing how their testimony and other aid amounted to “substantial assistance”, making it appropriate to adjust down the sentencing guidelines they otherwise faced under statute. Wiley was the first to cooperate, starting almost immediately after she was contacted by federal investigators, not knowing if there would even be a case against Brown and Simmons. “She took a leap of faith and she did an outstanding job,” says Assistant US Attorney A. Tysen Duva. Duva says Wiley testified not only at trial, but during the grand jury proceedings that led to the indictments of Brown and Simmons. While her contacts with Brown were limited, Duva says Wiley “strengthened what was already a good case” with the information she provided. While the government acknowledged they believe Wiley should receive the lightest sentence of the three co-defendants, they convinced the judge not to further downgrade the guidelines by classifying Wiley as having a “minor” role, pointing out that she provided control of One Door to Simmons, and then didn’t intervene when she knew they weren’t delivering for the charitable purposes she founded the group for. Corrigan says the “minor role” argument wasn’t frivilous, but it wasn’t even “a close call” to turn down, in his opinion. Corrigan asked Wiley’s attorneys and Wiley herself why she didn’t step in. “This was not an isolated event nor was it a minor fraud,” he says. Wiley says she made “misjudgements” in transferring the money for herself, and then didn’t know how to reign everything in. “It got out of control fast,” she says. Simmons was also credited for his assistance to the government. While he didn’t plead guilty until a few weeks before the trial, Duva says he provided a “significant” level of detail that helped bring to light some of the transgressions they may not have otherwise been able to track. He says Simmons also needs to be recognized for the “gutwrenching” decision to break with Brown, who he saw not only as a mentor, but practically family. “The court’s order needs to reflect the nature of that relationship, because it was absolutely significant,” Duva says. Simmons’ attorney, Anthony Suarez, says his contribution was far more than substantial when it came to Brown’s convictions, and that he may not have turned early, but once he did he was “unwavering”. “If justice is going to be done here, it was done because Ronnie Simmons decided it was the right thing to do,” Suarez says. Simmons’ mother asked the court for “grace and mercy”, while Simmons himself apologized to the court, the prosecution, and Brown’s constituents he used to serve. “They placed their unwavering trust in me and my judgement,” he says. “I am truly remorseful for the actions that I took.” But prosecutors made it clear they believe Simmons deserves to be punished. “Ronnie Simmons’ fatal mistake is he should have said to Corrine Brown- I’m not doing that,” Duva says. Simmons further says that he supports his family, including his elderly mother, son, nephew, and grandson. Wiley is a caregiver for her mother’s elderly companion and provides some support for her son as well. Among the arguments included in the presentations Wednesday was discussion about figuring out the right sentences that would bring justice. Wiley’s attorneys Justin Fairfax and Gray Thomas described her as “low man on the totem poll”, and warned what could happen if other people in her position see Wiley face a substantial sentence. “What signal will that send to someone else in Wiley’s position,” Fairfax says. The government believes Wiley should get the lightest sentence of the three, with Simmons the next most significant, and Brown the harshest. Attorneys on all sides bringing up questions about how those sentences will compare and how that will ultimately reflect on the role each of them played in this scheme. Corrigan says his experience is that, in these multi-defendant cases, it is best to hear the presentations from all parties before issuing a ruling, which was a factor in why he issued the order setting the actual date of the pronouncement of sentences for December 4th.  He- and the attorneys- also acknowledged that there is a lot of attention on this case. “This is a point in history that’s going to be considered,” Duva says. In comparing the possible sentences each co-defendant will face, Wiley’s attorney also raised the idea that while she is set to be the lightest sentenced of those who were charged, there are others they believe to be involved in this scheme- namely Brown’s daughter and a longtime aide and associate- who were never charged to begin with. Brown was convicted in May of 18 federal charges stemming from this scheme. In addition to conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud, she was found guilty of over-reporting charitable contributions and under-reporting income on tax forms and financial disclosures. Brown and her attorney James Smith will be in front of Corrigan Thursday to make their case for avoiding prison. She has tried twice- unsuccessfully- to delay her appearance, citing damage from Hurricane Irma, ongoing health evaluations, and other reasons. WOKV will be in the courtroom and will update frequently through the day. The total amounts all parties face in terms of restitution and forfeiture are still being firmed up by the parties involved, in part considering that Simmons also pleaded guilty to profiting off a ghost job he got his sister in the Hill, as well as how to define which donors to One Door are victims. Coorigan set a deadline for next Tuesday, November 21st. 
  • Former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown will present witnesses Thursday to show a judge why she should get probation for her 18 federal fraud-related convictions. Her co-defendants- her former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of the sham charity they used for the fraud Carla Wiley- present their cases Wednesday, also hoping to avoid jail time. But none of them will know until December how much time they will serve. FULL COVERAGE: The fraud trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown US District Judge Timothy Corrigan has issued a order telling the parties involved that the court will consider everything presented during the hearings Wednesday and Thursday, and will reconvene Monday, December 4th, for the actual pronouncement of sentence. There is no further explanation for the order. Corrigan’s order further says Brown’s character witnesses will be limited in the time each is alloted to speak on her behalf, noting that Brown’s sentencing memorandum said she intended to call dozens of witnesses. Three character witnesses will be allowed up to five minutes, while the others will be alloted two minutes each. The time constraints apply only to character witnesses specifically. Brown’s defense is asking the court that she serve probation, after being found guilty of 18 of 22 federal fraud-related charges. Brown and her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars to the sham charity “One Door For Education”, but used the money for large events and personal expenses instead. The President of One Door, Carla Wiley, pleaded guilty to separately taking money from One Door’s account online for herself. Brown was also found guilty of underreporting her income and overreporting charitable contributions on her financial disclosure forms and tax returns. Wiley is asking for probation or a short period of home detention. Working off her Probation Officer’s report, prosecutors are recommending anywhere between 1 year 9 months and 2 years 3 months. Simmons’ defense is moving for an alternative sentence including home detention, while the government recommends between 2 years 9 months and 3 years 5 months. Both Simmons and Wiley testified against Brown at her trial after pleading guilty themselves, and prosecutors recommended they face lighter sentences because of their cooperation. The government has not put a specific number on what their recommendation for Brown’s sentence will be, but their sentencing memo detailed many enhancements they’re recommending as part of her sentencing. A prior motion from the defense says Brown has been recommended for a “significant” amount of time. WOKV will be in the courtroom for this week’s sentencing hearings.

The Latest On-Air Coverage

The Trial of Corrine Brown

Former congresswoman Corrine Brown has returned to Duval county to answer federal charges of conspiracy and fraud. We go in-depth to dissect the latest from inside the courtroom

Jax Evening News Special - Corrine Brown sentencing

Topics: Anchors Mark Jackson, Stephanie Brown, and WOKV legal expert Mark Rubin discuss the particulars of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown's 5-year federal prison sentence.
Posted: December 04, 2017

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  • Another frosty morning with temps stuck in the 30's and low 40’s.   But Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we'll be a good 8 degrees warmer than yesterday with lots of sun and calm winds. “And then a breezy and rather mild day tomorrow. We’ll approach 70 degrees but that wind is going to make it feel cooler than it actually is, and that wind will be ahead of the next cold front”.  Expect that front to roll across the area Tuesday night, it will be dry, but will usher in another shot at chilly temperatures on Wednesday and early Thursday.  Mike is tracking a possible storm system to end the week and for your upcoming weekend.  LISTEN:  Mike Buresh Podcast
  • A Texas neighborhood is shaken by the deaths of two young children, which authorities believe came at the hand of their father. According to the Star-Telegram, police responded to a North Richland Hills home over the weekend after a mother called 911. The mother was uninjured, but two children and an adult man, later found to be their father, were found dead at the residence. >> Read more trending news “Upon arrival, officers found a 5-year-old female, 9-year-old male and adult male all deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. Initial investigation revealed the father shot the children and then shot himself,” North Richland Hills police said in a statement. The department went on to explain a search into the home’s records “revealed no prior history between [the] department and the family or address.” The names of those involved have not yet been released. “There’s no history here,” said police spokesperson Carissa Katekaru. “We’re still trying to figure out why. I grew up in North Richland Hills, and I would call this a pretty quiet neighborhood.” Neighbor Denise Albino, 57, has lived in the area for about 20 years. “Oh my God, those poor babies,” she said. “I just can’t understand why people do this kind of thing.” Albino said her son told her about the news. “I didn’t know them,” she added. “I would see the kids playing basketball all the time, but I never really got a chance to speak with them.” Another neighbor, Rosa Nichols, told KTVT: “You can drive by, and they can have a perfect house, but you don’t know what’s going on inside the house. It’s so sad.” “We lived there for several years and had some happy memories and sure hate to have sad memories made there for these families. For this family, we don’t know you, but we sure feel for you,” said Mike Bentley, who once lived in the home.
  •  21-year-old Korey Richardson is in police custody after a four-hour long standoff at Southside apartment complex.  Witnesses told police they heard what sounded like a man beating a woman inside of the units. They also said they saw the woman run away from the apartment, but the man chased after her, grabbed her and dragged her back into the apartment.  A small child was also with the man and woman.  Responding officers tried to contact the two inside but they were unable to. A SWAT callout was initiated after there was a concern it was a hostage situation, and Richardson was not letting the woman leave.  The woman was eventually released along with the child. Police reported she had minor injuries but the child was okay.  Shortly after the woman and child were released, Richardson surrendered and was taken into custody.  He’s facing a Battery and False Imprisonment charge.
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