Ex – Democrat representative Corrine Brown (Fla.) reported to prison moments before her noon deadline on Mon to start serving her five-yr sentence on fraud and corruption charges.
Brown, who served 25 years in Congress before happen to be involved in scandal stemming from a sham charity she founded, will now serve her 60-month sentence at Coleman prison in Sumter County, Fla.-one of the biggest prisons in the united states, First Coast News says. Brown will be positioned in a camp that houses female offenders.
An appellate judge refused Brown’s request for bond pending appeal a week ago.
Brown and her former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, were found guilty on 18 of 22 chargesbrought against them. More than $800,000 was deposited into Brown’s Virginia-based charity, One Door for Education, but only $1,200 was put towards charitable purposes.
The money was instead used to pay for luxury vacations, NFL tickets, car repairs, lavish events, and plane tickets. Brown had ordered the money taken from her charity and steered into her bank account.
Carla Wiley, the foundation’s president, testified during trial that she had put $140,000 of the charitable funds into Brown’s bank account. Simmons additionally testified that he was told to direct money from the charity to the bank account. The two had testified against Brown as part of a plea agreement.
Despite Brown’s conviction, she is still receiving her federal pension, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon last week.
Demian Brady, the director of research at the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), estimates that Brown is eligible to collect an annual annuity of up $66,000 and will be able to do so until all appeals are exhausted due to a loophole in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.
“The loophole in the current law allows a politician sentenced to prison to continue to collect the pensions until a ‘final conviction’ is given when all appeals are exhausted,” Brady told the Free Beacon. “For as long as a Brown is able to file appeals, even from a jail cell, she will not be considered ‘finally convicted’ and will remain eligible for her generous pension.”
Former Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) is also still collecting his pension after being in prison for more than one year. His lawyers would not say how long they plan on filing appeals on his behalf.
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) has introduced legislation that will close this loophole, Brady said.
“The No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act, introduced by Representative Claudia Tenney, would restore the intent of the ethics laws that Congress previously enacted. Convicted members would lose their pension upon sentencing, and any foregone amount would be paid in full if an appeal proves successful and the conviction is overturned. This reform would help protect taxpayers from subsidizing the retirement of Members who are guilty of serious criminal conduct in public office.”
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