Prosecutors oppose ex-congresswoman's fraud sentence appeal

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are opposing ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's request to remain free on bond while she appeals her fraud sentence, according to a motion filed Sunday.

Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow filed the motion in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville.

Brown, 71, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years' probation for fraud and lying on her tax returns and congressional financial disclosure forms about a purported charity for poor students she used as a personal slush fund.

The once-powerful Democrat was ordered to surrender in January.

Brown's attorney is arguing that she has a legitimate issue to appeal - the judge's dismissal of a single juror during the trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan excused a juror after deliberations began. The move came after the juror had confirmed to the court that he announced to his fellow jurors on the first day of deliberations that the "Holy Spirit" had told him Brown was not guilty of all charges.

Prosecutors say the juror was dismissed for failing to follow the court's instructions, and that the incident does not present a "substantial question of law or fact" as required for an appeal.

"In the absence of such a question, Corrine Brown should be imprisoned during the pendency of her appeal," prosecutors wrote.

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