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Former Jacksonville State Rep. Sentenced To Time Served, 3 Years Of Probation

WJXT- News4Jax

Updated 4:56 p.m. with comment from defense attorney Robert Willis

After an emotional day in federal court, former state Rep. Reggie Fullwood, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges last year, got his wish Tuesday when he was sentenced to time served and probation.

Fullwood, who could have faced up to 20 years in prison, was given three years of supervised released and ordered to serve 180 days of home detention. He must also complete 450 hours of community service, pay $42,000 in restitution and undergo substance abuse and mental health programs. 

He must complete 150 community service hours a year for three years. Fullwood must also cooperate with the IRS on his outstanding taxes.

Last week, Fullwood's attorney filed a sentencing memorandum, asking for probation.

According to the presentencing report, prosecutors wanted 15 to 21 months in prison.

After the sentencing, defense attorney Robert Willis said Fullwood received a fair sentence.

“Explain to me why a 42-year-old man with no history of any kind, with the service to this community that he has rendered, why they think it's fair that he needs to go to prison” he said. 

The defense called four character witnesses on Tuesday, including a state senator, real estate developer, his father-in-law and someone Fullwood had mentored.

Fullwood became so emotional before he gave his statement to the court that the judge called a 15-minute recess to allow him to compose himself.

In the memo requesting probation, Fullwood’s attorney cited the former state representative's long career of public service and noted that the conviction has ruined his reputation.

The lawyer said Fullwood is going through a divorce, in part because of the fraud case.

He’s living with his sister, and working as an associate editor for the Jacksonville Free Press.

The lawyer also revealed that Fullwood is an alcoholic and has been attending AA meetings since 2014 and getting mental health counseling.

Fullwood agreed last year to the forfeiture of $60,552.80 as part of his plea agreement, which was entered in September. 

The forfeiture amount matches the amount transferred from Fullwood's campaign account to the account of Rhino Harbor, LLC — an account that is only under Fullwood's name.

Fullwood was indicted in April on 14 counts, including wire fraud and tax evasion, mostly related to diverting contributions to his re-election campaign for his own personal use, including purchases of jewelry, alcohol and flowers.

Fullwood narrowly won a six-way Democratic primary in August for a fourth term representing District 13 and was scheduled to face Republican Mark Griffin in the general election, but he resigned after entering the guilty plea in September.