Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Ex-congresswoman guilty of taking money from sham charity

Ex-congresswoman guilty of taking money from sham charity

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has been found guilty of taking money from a charity that was purported to be giving scholarships to poor students.

Brown, 70, was indicted last July on 22 federal charges, including participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail and wire fraud, concealing material facts, obstruction of IRS laws and filing false tax returns.

"Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown failed to deliver and uphold her duty to file true and correct tax returns by lying about her income and charitable contributions to feed her greed".

Brown watched the judge read each verdict in a silent courtroom with no visible reaction.

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

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on the fraud trial of former U.S. Rep.

Brown's co-conspirators, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, Brown's long-time Chief of Staff, and Carla Wiley, the president of the fraudulent charity, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the education charity scheme on February 8, 2017, and March 3, 2016, respectively.

Brown, known as a talkative politician who does not shy away from the media, stayed silent as she left the courthouse on Thursday. Using bank records, checks, letters, emails and hundreds of other documents, prosecutors made the case Brown directed the deposit of $37,000 of One Door cash into her account. Despite her lawsuits, and her statements comparing the move to "slavery" by diluting African-American voting power, the redistricting stood, and she lost to state Sen. Meanwhile, they said, the charity gave out just one scholarship, worth $1,200, in the span of those four years.

Brown's attorney, James Smith, focused his closing argument on whether a "self-admitted liar and thief with a criminal conviction" for assault against his girlfriend and "a vested interest in what happens" in Brown's trial is someone the jury should trust. Corrigan has wide discretion in her punishment because there are no mandatory minimum sentences for Brown's charges, Smith said.

Brown testified in her own defense, saying she was left in the dark about the goings-on with One Door's money, and blamed the theft on Simmons.

Brown, for her part, argued that the fraud was entirely the doing of Simmons, who earlier pleaded guilty and testified against her. Brown will remain free until her sentencing hearing, which has not been set.

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