Ex-congresswoman found guilty of taking money from charity

Elias Hubbard
May 12, 2017

She was found not guilty on four counts.

Brown, a Democrat who represented a Florida district in Congress for 24 years, is facing years in prison after being found guilty on 18 of 22 federal fraud charges, WJCT reports.

"Brown took an oath year after year to serve others, but instead she exploited the needs of children and deceived her constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Brown, who served in the lower chamber from January 1993 - Jan. 2017, said she had made some mistakes, but maintained it was not intentional.

The group was indicted in 2016, and Brown stepped down from her congressional leadership post - though not her congressional seat - after the charges were announced.

"Regardless of the verdict, she has done so much for her district, our community, all of our district, in particular actually, from the time she was in the legislature, until her time in Congress". Brown will remain free until her sentencing hearing, which has not been set.

Prosecutors said Brown, a resident of Jacksonville, was aided in the conspiracy by her former chief of staff, Elias Simmons, and Carla Wiley, the president of the fraudulent charity.

WJCT's Ryan Michael Benk reports the sentencing phase could take 90 days or longer for Brown, who left office earlier this year after losing her re-election bid in the district she'd represented for almost a quarter-century.

Counts 1 through 17 are related to Brown's affiliation with a fake charity, One Door For Education. She is expected to be sentenced within 120 days.

"Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown violated the public trust, the honor of her position, and the integrity of the American system of government when she abused one of the most powerful positions in the nation for her own personal gain", Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in a statement issued after the ruling. The convictions involve conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, tax crimes and hiding income she should have publicly reported.

"While I respect the jury's decision I disagree with it and I want to make it clear that I maintain my innocence", Brown said in a statement. Both took a one count plea deal and agreed to testify against Brown. Brown's personal account. Sometimes he kept some for himself.

Her attorney said after Brown left that he plans to file motions for a new trial, but he would not elaborate on what the grounds for those motions would be.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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