Judge accepts prosecution's recommendation for less prison time for Wiley and Simmons

They testified against Corrine Brown, now they will receive a reduced jail term in exchange.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On Thursday, former congresswoman Corrine Brown will have a sentencing hearing after being convicted on 18 counts of federal fraud.

Judge Tim Corrigan accepted the prosecution's recommendation for a reduced prison time range of 21-27 months for Wily and 33-41 months for Simmons.

But on Wednesday, her two co-conspirators will have their hearing. Ronnie Simmons is Brown's former chief of staff, and Carla Wiley founded the fake charity the three used to commit fraud. 

 

The three will not receive their final sentencing until Dec. 4, according to new court documents.

Ahead of the sentencing hearing, Carla Wiley's legal team asked the court for leniency. 

Carla Wiley became involved in the case while she was dating Simmons.

She was the president for One Door which was said to be a charity but was never registered as one.  But over $800,000 went to the group in just four years; only $1,000 actually went to a student.

Simmons was dating Wiley when mentioned he needed a nonprofit to fund a reception for the congresswoman in 2012. Carla Wiley testified that she offered One Door.

One Door sold itself as giving scholarships to underprivileged children seeking to become educators. It was named for Wiley’s mother, Amy Anderson, an 86-year-old former educator who said all a child needs is one door of opportunity to have a chance.

The $800,000 the charity brought in while affiliated with Brown and Simmons is gone.

$330,000 to events and receptions around the congresswoman, per the prosecution. More than $70,000 in cash to the congresswoman. Well over $100,000 to Wiley. Simmons is accused of pocketing thousands upon thousands for himself.

Wiley's attorneys stated that she had a lesser role in the offense and is less culpable than Brown or Simmons.

The Hearing Begins

Arguments begin for sentencing of Corrine Brown cohorts

 

U.S. prosecutor gave nothing short of glowing review about the cooperation of Brown's co-conspirator who testified against the former Congresswoman before a 2016 grand jury and in 2017 at trial.

 

One Door charity founder Carla Wiley faced a federal judge Wednesday in hopes of avoiding a prison sentence for her involvement in the sham non-profit.

 

On Wednesday, prosecutors reiterated 21-27 months of prison time—50 percent less than what the court’s probation officer recommended in a report based on federal sentencing guidelines.

 

“[Wiley] took a substantial leap of faith, she didn’t know what was next, whether there would be any kind of an indictment for Brown,” U.S. attorney A. Tysen Duva told the judge. “Her attitude throughout the process was stellar and her remorse was authentic and everything she told us was true. She didn’t make up facts, as did Corrine Brown. She did an outstanding job.”

 

Federal prosecutors told the court Wiley made the decision to cooperate immediately and essentially gave them the ‘keys to the charity.” After being contacted by the FBI about their investigation into Brown’s finances, Wiley’s defense attorney Justin Fairfax said she contacted the FBI back about an interview the next day.

 

Wiley asked the judge for a “minor role” reduction for her

 

Judge Tim Corrigan accepted the prosecution’s recommended reduced prison time range of 21-27 months, citing her early cooperation and reliable information. 

 

“There’s no math or science to [sentence level reductions,] it’s really a judgment call,” said Judge Corrigan. “The federal sentencing guidelines are important but they are just guidelines.”

 

The judge also granted prosecutor’s request to reduce Ronnie Simmons’ exposure from 57-71 months as recommended by the court’s probation office, to 33-41 months.

 

However, Judge Corrigan said despite these recommended ranges, he will entertain arguments for sentences above or below the range from either side during the rest of the sentencing hearing.

 

Corrigan announced Sunday he would give his final decision on sentences for Wiley, Simmons and Brown on December 4.

 

The below tweet was meant to say Carla and was corrected in an additional tweet by the reporter:

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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