Former Rep. Corrine Brown Found Guilty of Taking Funds from Fake Charity

Brown was convicted on several charges, including conspiracy, mail fraud, and filing multiple false tax returns.

Brown's sentence will come from the presiding judge at a hearing not expected to happen for another 90 days.

Past year during a Tallahassee campaign stop Brown insisted investigations into her activities with the One Door Education Foundation was an effort to take her out of Congress:.

Since her indictment last summer, she had been publicly defiant of the government's charges, saying in a statement she was among black elected officials who have been "persecuted".

Brown's attorney told jurors Brown was betrayed by her former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, who was indicted with Brown, but in July took a plea deal. Prosecutors say she funneled money from One Door for Education into her personal accounts.

On the stand, Brown did not dispute that there were problems with her tax returns, including inflated charitable donations.

"People can not and will not forget all the good that she's done", Smith said.

Most chose not to comment on whether Brown committed the crimes she's been convicted of.

Brown, a Democrat who represented the Florida district that included Jacksonville since 1993, had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including fraud.

Instead, the charity gave only $1,200 in scholarships while Brown, Simmons and the foundation's president, Carla Wiley, spent funds on a lavish lifestyle, according to their indictments.

"It's been a tough 15 months and I'll be glad when it's over", Brown said. Charges included mail fraud, conspiracy, and wire and tax fraud. More than $300,000 of the fund went to pay for events hosted by Brown or in honor of her, the Justice Department said. She says that all the financial details were left to Simmons and other hired staffers, admitting that she should have paid more attention to the finances of One Door.

CBS affiliate WJAX-TV in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted that one person could be heard crying softly in the courtroom and that Brown remained stoic as the verdicts were read. I ask that you continue to pray for and support me. At one point she broke down crying and the jury had to be ushered from the room while she composed herself after crying out "they're trying to destroy my life" during cross-examination. Sometimes he kept some for himself.


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