A judge has found former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida guilty of fraudulently taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a bogus charity following an indictment on federal corruption charges.
Brown was found guilty of 18 out of 22 counts that include conspiracy involving the fraudulent charity, concealing income on financial filings submitted to the House, and filing false tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Jacksonville.
Prosecutors said Brown and two of her associates transferred more than $800,000 from her charity, One Door for Education, into personal bank accounts between 2012 and 2016. The charity reportedly only gave out $1,200 in scholarship funds.
Brown’s former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, and the charity’s president, Carla Wiley, both testified against their former boss.
The verdict was given after two days of deliberation and eight days of testimony from roughly 50 witnesses. Brown, who served in the lower chamber from Jan. 1993 – Jan. 2017, said she had made some mistakes, but maintained it was not intentional.
Here’s what AP reported:
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan scheduled a change of plea hearing Wednesday morning for Brown, a once-powerful Florida Democrat who had previously pleaded not guilty to 18 charges including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and filing false tax returns.
Brown’s lawyers did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The second trial had been set to begin Sept. 12. Brown’s original 2017 conviction was thrown out by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because Corrigan improperly removed a juror during deliberations who had said the “Holy Spirit” told him she was innocent.
Brown, 75, served about two years of a five-year sentence before her release in April 2020 because of fears her age made her more susceptible to the coronavirus pandemic in prison.
News4Jax also reported that Brown has been receiving her pension all this time and she will continue to receive it in the coming years even after pleading guilty to a tax crime.
After Corrine Brown was convicted, News4JAX reported that she could continue to receive her pension while she appealed her conviction. Once it was thrown out, she continued to receive it while awaiting a new trial, which had been scheduled for the fall of 2022.
News4Jax has learned that in order for a member of Congress to lose their pension for a felony conviction, the crime must be related to their congressional actions.
Watch the video report from News4Jax:
Watch it here: News4Jax/Youtube