Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is scheduled to return to Jacksonville’s federal court Wednesday for a final hearing before the fraud trial that’s set to start in just three weeks, according to the Florida Times-Union.
The 12-term congresswoman could face a prison sentence as long as 357 years if she’s convicted of all the charges prosecutors have brought involving conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and assorted types of cheating on her taxes.
The case centers around her relationship with a sham charity, One Door for Education of Leesburg, Va., but Brown has noted for months that she had no formal role at the organization.
Brown’s former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, and his ex-girlfriend, One Door president Carla Wiley, long ago pleaded guilty to roles in a conspiracy that Brown’s indictment claims raised $800,000 for the self-described scholarship fund. The fund gave just two scholarships, totaling $1,200, the indictment said.
Brown, a Democrat who lost reelection after being indicted last year, has denied any involvement in any wrongdoing, and said she wants her name publicly cleared.
The last time Brown was in court, the day after Simmons’ Feb. 8 guilty plea, defense attorney James W. Smith III tried to convince U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan to delay Brown’s trial while he worked through the plea’s implications for his case.