Ex-Florida congresswoman convicted of taking money meant for charity

Ex-Florida congresswoman convicted of taking money meant for charity

Ex-Florida congresswoman convicted of taking money meant for charity

(Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP). Instead, the money was unlawfully used by Brown and her associates.

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown 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 scholarships to poor stud.

According to reports, the charges were brought forth after news surfaced that the congresswoman may have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from a children's charity to finance extravagant trips, parties, and frequent shopping excursions.

Brown, 70, was convicted on 18 out of 22 counts of participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, concealing material facts required on financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department said in a statement. "Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public's trust".

Brown, who served in Congress from 1993 up until this year, pled not guilty to the charges.

Brown was one of the first three African Americans to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.

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WJAX reported that Brown kept an expressionless face as the judge read the verdict on each of the counts, while one person could be heard crying softly in the courtroom.

"It includes you", said Brown as she touched Inclan's cheek. He also shared a statement from Brown, saying that she respects the justice system but still maintains her innocence and thanked the public for its support and prayers. After the Florida Supreme Court redrew the lines past year after a lawsuit, she went on to lose her reelection campaign in the primary to Al Lawson.

Earlier this year, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it as determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation's account over four years.

Simmons explained in his testimony that Brown would frequently order him too take cash and checks from the charity's account.

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.

In Bono's Barbeque on Norwood Avenue where in January 2016 federal agents served Brown with an initial subpoena for documents, restaurant regulars say the verdict comes as a blow. She didn't speak after the verdict was rendered, though her attorney James Smith told reporters, "I still have a lot of work to do on this case", referring to the sentencing phase of the trial that's still to come and the motion he plans to file for a new trial.

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