JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge has granted a request from former state Rep. Reggie Fullwood for an early end to his three-year probation term. Fullwood’s sentence on charges of wire fraud and failing to file a tax return was due to end in February 2020.
Fullwood, a former Democratic lawmaker from Jacksonville, pleaded guilty in 2016 to charges of wire fraud and failing to file a tax return. He had been accused of diverting contributions to his reelection campaign for his own personal use, including purchases of jewelry, alcohol and flowers.
In February 2017, a judge gave Fullwood a sentence of time served, plus 180 days on home detention and three years' supervised release. As Fullwood was never in custody before his trial, the "time served" only amounted to the day of his arrest. Sentencing guidelines had called for 15 to 21 months in federal prison for Fullwood, but the judge departed from that in his sentencing.
Last month, Fullwood filed a motion asking to terminate his probation early, after 25 months. He stated he was fulfilling the terms of his probation, including completing 550 hours of community service, which was greater than the 450 hours required by his sentence. Fullwood wrote that his probation officer stated he would not oppose early termination and that his mental health therapist also supports early termination. The former lawmaker also stated he has an "employment opportunity" that requires he not be on probation and argued that terminating probation would allow him to have a consistent income and better take care of his family and pay financial obligations to the court.
Prosecutors opposed the request, arguing there was no reason to treat the case any differently than any other case involving a term of supervised release. Government lawyers had also argued that in effect, Fullwood had already received a reduction in sentence, since he did not receive a sentence of imprisonment.
In his order granting Fullwood’s request, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. found that Fullwood’s conduct during his term of supervised release “is more than adequate.” He also stated that the former lawmaker has an “excellent opportunity for employment that most convicted felons don’t have.”
COURT DOCUMENT: Judge grants Fullwood's request
At the time of his sentencing, Fullwood was ordered to pay $42,545 in restitution to the IRS. Earlier this month, Fullwood’s probation officer told prosecutors he had paid approximately $2,500 of that, at the $100 per month that was ordered by the court. The judge’s order acknowledges that not all of the restitution will be paid by the end of the term of supervised release, but pointed out that the federal government and IRS have other ways to collect the money.
Fullwood represented a portion of Jacksonville in the Florida House from 2010 to 2016, resigning his seat after pleading guilty. He previously served on the Jacksonville City Council.