Former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown of Florida was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for her role in helping raise more than $800,000 for a bogus charity that was used as a slush fund, federal court officials said.
Brown, 71, was convicted in May on 18 counts of participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, concealing material facts required on financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns.
Brown, a Democrat from Jacksonville who served 24 years in Congress, lost her re-election bid last year after being indicted.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said he considered Brown's years of public service in deciding her punishment. But he determined that "probation for a member of Congress convicted of 18 counts involving mail, wire, and tax fraud would not be sufficient," according to a transcript of his comments.
Brown maintains her innocence and will appeal, her lawyer, James Smith, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville on Monday. The former congresswoman declined to comment.