Corrine Brown, a Florida Democratic congresswoman from January 1993 to January 2017, was found guilty of corruption Thursday.
Brown faced a 22 count indictment and was found guilty on 18 charges. The charges included lying on financial disclosure forms, obstructing the IRS, conspiring to commit mail fraud, conspiring to commit wire fraud and falsifying tax return information.
She was also found guilty of using funds meant for a charity, One Door for Education, that is supposed to provide scholarships to underprivileged students.
According to prosecutors, between 2012 and 2016, Brown and two associates transferred over $800,000 from the charity and put the money into personal bank accounts. Reportedly, One Door for Education only granted $1,200 in actual scholarship funds.
She was found not guilty of four specific instances of fraud, however the jury believed she was guilty of involvement in a larger fraudulent scheme.
Nearly 50 witnesses were heard from during eight days of testimony, including the charity’s president, Carla Wiley and Brown’s former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, who both testified against Brown. The verdict came following two days of deliberation.
“Let me just admit right here and now that there was a lot of sloppy bookkeeping … It was a mistake on my part and I needed to get on top of my taxes,” Brown reportedly told the jury. She admits to making “some mistakes,” but insists they weren’t intentional.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva saw it differently. In her opening statement to the jury, she’s reported to have said, “Corruption. Greed. And a significant entitlement attitude. And that’s what this case is about. It’s about lying, cheating, and stealing. It’s about fraud and corruption of a member of the highest level of the American government.”
Brown served in the lower chamber in Florida, and lost her bid for re-election after her indictment.
Her sentencing date has not been determined yet.
H/T: The Daily Caller
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