Former Florida representative and Daytona Beach city commissioner Dwayne Taylor was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison and 18 months of supervised release on a charge of nine counts of wire fraud for using money from his campaign account for personal expenses.
Taylor, 50, could have been sentenced to 20 years on each count -- although with an otherwise clean record, it was always unlikely he would receive the maximum sentence.
Taylor's attorney, A. Brian Phillips, pleaded with U.S. District Judge Carlos Mendoza to place his client on probation, allowing him to continue to care for his family and work to gradually pay the nearly $63,000 the judge awarded the government after Taylor’s conviction in August.
Federal sentencing guidelines call for a term of 24 to 30 months in prison concurrent for all nine counts, according to a sentencing memorandum Phillips distributed to the media.
Federal prosecutors said Taylor took $62,834 from his campaign account and used it to pay personal expenses ranging from meals at McDonald’s to a Mercedes Benz, to his fancy wedding at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Taylor, a Democrat, served as a Daytona Beach city commissioner from 2003 to 2008, and as a representative in the Florida House from 2008 to 2016. He was term-limited in 2016, ran for the U.S. House of Representatives but lost in the primary.
He is also a former Daytona Beach firefighter-paramedic who retired with the rank of lieutenant. He still lives in Daytona Beach.
Another Democrat, former state Rep. Reggie Fullwood, was sentenced in February to six months of home detention followed by federal supervision for a single count of wire fraud and tax convictions that forced him out of the Legislature.
The sentence was more lenient than federal guidelines call for and drew a prosecutor's objection, but Fullwood’s advocates argued losing his job running a Jacksonville nonprofit was punishment enough.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith
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