Ex-Rep. Corrine Brown guilty on fraud, tax evasion charges


Instead, the money was unlawfully used by Brown and her associates.

Brown was charged and convicted of wire fraud and tax evasion as part of her role in funneling money into a fake charity known as One Door for Education and then into her own personal bank account.

The trial against Brown began late last month, where she was accused of diverting funds from a charitable foundation she'd set up for poor children for her own use to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included Beverly Hills shopping sprees.

Her conviction includes the charges of conspiracy, five counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, one count of scheme to hide material facts, one count of obstruction of IRS laws and three tax fraud charges.

"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", Spencer said.

Brown, who served 12 terms in Congress, had vehemently denied any wrongdoing. When the judge read the verdict, Brown had no visible response.

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When the 70-year-old left the Jacksonville courthouse, supporters who had gathered outside shouted 'We love you Corrine!' and 'Keep the Faith!' as she silently made her way to a waiting vehicle.

She had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including the fraud, but lost re-election last fall after her indictment.

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. Both pleaded guilty after their federal indictments for misusing the charity's funds, and testified against Ms.

A Jacksonville, Fla., jury found Corrine Brown guilty on 18 of 22 charges on Thursday that stemmed from about $800,000 in the charity, called the One Door for Education Foundation between 2012 and 2016. Over that time, federal prosecutors say it gave one scholarship for $1,000 and that Wiley transferred herself tens of thousands of dollars.

Simmons said Brown ordered him to take cash and checks from One Door's account that was put into the congresswoman's personal accounts. The allegations dogged Brown, 70, as she fought to retain her district after it was redrawn to include Tallahassee. James Smith, her attorney, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville that he would seek a new trial. Characterized as a defender for those in her district, she had a reputation for doing what she said she would.