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2 ex-city council members in Florida go to prison for fraud

January 30, 2021 GMT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Two former city council members in Jacksonville have begun their prison terms for fraud involving a barbecue sauce venture.

The Florida Times-Union reports that Katrina Brown, 40, entered the women’s camp at Federal Correctional Institution-Coleman in Central Florida on Friday. She was sentenced to 33 months behind bars.

Reggie Brown, 58, reported to FCI-Jesup in Wayne County, Georgia, to serve his 18-month term.

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The two Browns are not related. They were sentenced in October for dozens of counts including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. They were convicted by a jury in 2019.

None of the crimes involved their roles as council members. Most of the charges involved misleading a lender to finance a project by Katrina Brown’s family to open a barbecue sauce factory.

The lender paid invoices Katrina Brown’s family received from companies working on the launch, and Katrina Brown submitted invoices from two companies organized in Reggie Brown’s name that prosecutors said performed almost no work.