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Author Topic: Florida Rep. Corrine Brown Denies Spending $800,000 In Charity Money For Persona  (Read 2705 times)
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« on: 13-05-2017, 04:54:38 - GMT-1 »
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After 24 years in office, Florida Representative Corrine Brown (D-FL) recently lost her congressional seat.

Her loss comes after being indicted on 22 federal charges including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax violations. Despite the allegations, the congresswoman says she’s innocent.

Rep. Brown and her attorney, James Smith, III, spoke with Roland Martin about the allegations being levied against her, which claim she and her Chief of Staff established a “sham charity” to access $800,000 for personal use.

Brown said U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley has damaged her name, calling the allegations bogus and racist. She continued to lambast the claims and said they were “done prior to the August 30th election” to keep her from winning reelection.

Brown believes the charges were issued for political reasons. She told Martin, “You know for a fact the first step was to change the district, put 25 prisons in the district,” and the second step in securing her ouster was the corruption charge issued prior to the election.

Congresswoman Brown will appear in court for a series of status hearings in October. If the case goes to trial, Attorney James Smith, III explained the legal proceedings will probably not take place until February of 2017.

He reiterated the embattled congresswoman’s claim of innocence and said, “Let me just be very clear, my client has emphatically and will emphatically continue to deny the charges.”

Smith implored those who may consider whether or not she is guilty of the scathing charges to look at Representative Brown’s record and reminded viewers of her “decades of good faithful service at the state, local, and federal level on the behalf of her constituents.”

Rep. Brown denies being connected with the individual who established the unregistered charity she is being accused of using as her “own personal slush fund.”

Brown forcefully said on NewsOne Now she has “absolutely no relationship whatsoever” to the woman who allegedly set up the questionable charity.

Later during their conversation, Congresswoman Brown said the following of the charges: “It is a bunch of bull.”

https://blackamericaweb.com/2016/09/22/florida-rep-corrine-brown-denies-spending-800000-in-charity-money-for-personal-use/

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« Reply #1 on: 13-05-2017, 04:54:50 - GMT-1 »
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Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown could spend the rest of her life in prison after being found guilty of taking money from a charity that was purported to be giving scholarships to poor students.

The Thursday verdict came after prosecutors outlined a pattern of fraud by Brown, 70, and her top aide that included using hundreds of thousands of dollars from the One Door for Education Foundation for lavish parties, trips and shopping excursions. She was convicted of 18 of the 22 charges against her, including lying on her taxes and on her congressional financial disclosure forms.

“Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust, and that is why investigating public corruption remains the FBI’s top criminal priority,” FBI Jacksonville Division Special Agent in Charge Charles Spencer said in a statement.

It was the final act in the downfall of Brown, who had represented the Florida district that included Jacksonville since 1993. Brown, a Democrat, was one of the first three African Americans to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.

She watched the judge read each verdict in a silent courtroom with no visible reaction. She later left the courthouse holding onto the arm of a companion, surrounded by dozens of reporters. A few supporters shouted “We love you Corrine!” and “Keep the Faith!” as she silently made her way to a waiting car.

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.” She had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including the fraud, but lost re-election last fall after her indictment.

Key to the government’s conviction was the testimony of Brown’s former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, and the charity’s president, Carla Wiley. Both pleaded guilty after their federal indictments for misusing the charity’s funds, and testified against Brown.

Federal prosecutors said Brown and her associates used One Door to bring in more than $800,000 between 2012 and 2016, including a high-profile golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass. Brown’s indictment said the Virginia-based One Door only gave out one scholarship for $1,200 to an unidentified person in Florida.

Simmons said Brown ordered him to take cash and checks from One Door’s account. On dozens of occasions, Simmons said he was told to take out of One Door’s account the maximum $800 from an ATM near his house and deposit hundreds of it in Brown’s personal account. Sometimes he kept some for himself.

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.

Brown said she left those details to Simmons and other hired staffers, and said she should have paid more attention to her personal and professional finances.

Her attorney, James Smith, said he plans to file a motion for a new trial and said Brown respects the American judicial system and the jury’s verdict, even though she disagrees with it.

“She’s strong and fighting for her innocence,” Smith said outside the courthouse. “And she will continue to do that.”

The judge did not set a date for Brown’s sentencing, which could include many years of jail time.

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