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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Corrine Brown, Congresswoman Convicted of Scamming Low Income Students, Has Started Her Prison Sentence

Corrine Brown, former representative of Florida's 5th Congressional District

Corrine Brown, the former representative of Florida's 5th Congressional District, has been found guilty of mail, wire, and tax fraud involving a bogus charity for low-income students. She started her prison sentence three weeks ago; fellow inmates claim she gets special treatment.
Brown has been convicted late last year for stealing approximately $800,000 of funds from One Door for Education, a bogus charity that claims to give scholarships to poor children. She had reportedly used the donations for personal expenses such as lavish parties, Bahamas trips, tickets to a Beyoncé concert, and to fill up her own bank accounts.

Brown, 71 years old, started her five-year prison sentence on January 29. She arrived in style and emerged from a tinted "limousine-style minibus" at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex.

Larry Levine, director of Wall Street Prison Consultants and an ex-convict himself, told the Orlando Sentinel that Brown will have a hard time in prison. "When they get high-profile inmates like her, they like to treat them like [expletive]," said Levine. "Seriously, she’s got a rough road ahead of her."

But it seems that it's not exactly the case. Inmates wrote letters claiming Brown receives special treatment such massages, extra meals, cleaning help, being able to wear "brand new high-top leather sneakers", and being able to keep "a bunch wigs" and wear them.

Current and former prison officials denied the claims and said the complaints are bogus and some are just exaggerated. Richard Pari, a former lieutenant at the facility, said, "I can guarantee those people at the Bureau of Prisons are professional people."

"You showed me a list and I disagree wholeheartedly. The wigs did not happen. I had talked to a few different people working in the R and D, and, in my experience working in the prison, that's removed from you. She's provided a skull cap and that's what she wears," Pari added.

Joe Rojas, who currently serves as the head of the local prison workers' union, said, "All the other inmates, they're treating her nice, giving her candy bars. But as far as we are, we can't do that, No. 1, because that's an ethics violations."

Brown, who was charged with federal corruption, conspiracy, tax evasion, and fraud, was sentenced last December to five years in prison, three years probation, as well as restitution payments of $250 per month.

Brown is appealing her conviction. If the appeal is overturned, she will most probably serve 80 percent of her 60-month sentence.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, Brown's release date is June 6, 2022.