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Corrine Brown Convicted in Corruption Trial

Image: Corrine Brown Convicted in Corruption Trial

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown leaves the courthouse on Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla., after being found guilty of taking money from a charity that was purported to be giving scholarships to poor students. (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

By    |   Friday, 12 May 2017 10:37 AM

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was convicted in Florida on Thursday on 18 counts in her federal corruption trial connected to money theft from an unregistered Virginia charity, wrote.

Brown, 70, had represented part of Florida including Jacksonville. The jury deliberated for 11 hours before Brown was found guilty on charges included participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, concealing material facts on required financial disclosure forms, obstructing the due administration of the internal revenue laws and filing false tax returns, WJXT-TV reported.

Evidence showed that the One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund raised more than $800,000 in donations but gave away only two scholarships totaling $1,200 to students, the Justice Department said in a statement. More than $300,000 of the fund went to pay for events hosted by Brown or in honor of her, the Justice Department said.

The statement said funds were used to pay for a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game in the Washington, D.C., area.

"Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown violated the public trust, the honor of her position, and the integrity of the American system of government when she abused one of the most powerful positions in the nation for her own personal gain," acting assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in the Justice Department statement.

"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," Blanco continued.

Brown could face up to 277 years in prison and the possibility of paying restitution in sentencing, along with losing her Congressional pension, WJXT-TV noted.

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

"This is just part one in a very long process and there are a number of motions that we intend to file that we believe will stop this case from going forward to sentencing," Smith told the television station.

"You don't sentence someone solely based on the charges, you sentence based on the life, and a lot of good things. And even her harshest critics would admit that she's done a lot of good things," Smith added.

Brown's former chief of staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, 51, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of theft of government property in February, according to a Justice Department statement.

Carla Wiley, the president of One Door, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy on March 3, 2016, and will be sentenced on June 12. Sentencing dates for Brown and Simmons have not been set.

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Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was convicted in Florida on Thursday on 18 counts in her federal corruption trial connected to money theft from an unregistered Virginia charity, wrote.
corrine brown, convicted, corruption, trial
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2017-37-12
Friday, 12 May 2017 10:37 AM
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