Former Rep. Corrine Brown found guilty in charity scam

Posted May 19, 2017

Through the fraudulent charity, "One Door for Education - Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund", prosecutors said, Brown - along with Simmons, Wiley, and others - solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations by telling donors their money would be used to fund college scholarships, school computers, and other causes. Brown, who pleaded not guilty, has been convicted of five counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, one count of scheming to hide material facts, one count of obstruction of IRS laws and three tax fraud charges, reports WJXT4. The 18 charges carry with them a maximum jail time of 357 years, though Brown, 70, is not likely to receive all 350-plus years at her sentencing.

Brown, a Democrat who served 24 years in Congress, lost her re-election bid last year after being indicted.

"Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tysen Duva and Eric Olshan painted Brown as an egotistical politician who lived beyond her means". "She shamefully deprived needy children of hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have helped with their education and improved their opportunities for advancement, and she lied to the IRS and the American public about secret cash deposits into her personal bank accounts".

Prosecutors also said Brown claimed on her taxes to have given four times more to charity ($28,000 a year) than she actually gave ($6,600 a year).

Brown's lawyers argued that her former chief of staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons was the person responsible. Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, third from left, leaves the courthouse on Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla., after being found of taking money from a charity that was purported to be giving scholar.

Florida congresswoman Corrine Brown speaks during a public rally to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin, at Fort Mellon Park in Sanford, Florida March 22, 2012.

Brown faces nine counts of wire fraud, seven of mail fraud, and another charge of conspiracy.

"Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public's trust, and that is why investigating public corruption remains the FBI's top criminal priority", FBI Jacksonville Division Special Agent in Charge Charles Spencer said in a statement.

Brown was one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction when she was elected in 1992.

James Smith, Brown's attorney, told WJXT-TV that they plan on fighting the results.

Mr. Simmons said Ms.

During her trial, Brown said she was in the dark about the day-to-day goings-on with One Door's money, and blamed the theft on Simmons.

"People can not and will not forget all the good that she's done", Smith said.