A federal judge called the case difficult, but sentenced a former Georgia lawmaker to prison for tax, mail and wire fraud.
Tyrone Brooks asked for probation on the charges, but federal judge Amy Totenberg said the case was too serious for no prison time.
The judge decided after hearing from former attorney general Mike Bowers, for mayor and UN Ambassador Andrew Young and Martin King Jr. III, among others that a message must be sent to Mr. Brooks and the public.
One of Brook’s attorneys is the former Governor of Georgia.
“He is disappointed, but he understands. This is a fella that has for years stared death in the face and been threatened, so he’s a tough guy,” said former Governor Roy Barnes.
The government says Brooks raised money from corporations such as Georgia Pacific, Walmart and the Coca Cola Foundation for many years, but diverted at least $1 million dollars to his personal account to pay bills for himself and his family.
Lawyers for Brooks believed the case was more of an ethics violation and did not warrant criminal prosecution, but the government said Brooks’ behavior was deliberate and troubling. They asked for a two year prison term.
Brooks will return to federal court in January for a restitution hearing. He says he will speak publically about the case Wednesday at 1 p.m.