Corrine Brown's testimony could lead to harsher sentence, her attorney says

Former Rep. Corrine Brown faces a maximum sentence of hundreds of years in prison after being found guilty of 18 of 22 counts in federal court, most related to fraud.

If her attorney James Smith’s future motion for a new trial fails, the 70-year-old will return to the courthouse for sentencing a few months from now.

Smith tells Action News Jax there’s a possibility that Brown’s testimony on the witness stand could lead to a harsher sentence.

Smith said he’s concerned she could be hit with a perjury enhancement on her sentence if the government believes she lied on the stand.

“I can tell you that’s likely going to be a point of contention,” said Smith. “There has to be a very specific finding that there was a willful intent to provide false testimony to obstruct justice. So could it happen? Yes. Do I think it’s warranted, given the facts of this case? No, I don’t.”

Judge Timothy Corrigan said Brown’s accused co-conspirators Ronnie Simmons and Carla Wiley will be sentenced first.

They pleaded guilty to just a handful of counts and helped the government by testifying against Brown, so their sentences will likely be lighter.

“I can’t say for certain that if they get time (in prison), I’ll be able to then say, well, I know the congresswoman is going to get time. The good thing about sentencing in the federal system is that it’s always individualized,” said Smith.