(NewsGlobal.com)- Corrine Brown, a once-powerful Florida Democrat congressman from Florida, was found guilty on eighteen of twenty-two counts of fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion, and obstruction in 2017.
Brown is accused of defrauding her organization, “One Door for Education Foundation,” of tens of thousands of cash intended for disadvantaged and impoverished children. Brown instead invested the funds in her personal accounts to fund her extravagant lifestyle. She is known for throwing lavish parties, taking expensive travels, and shopping, according to reports.
Brown’s organization, One Door for Education Foundation Inc., was set up to provide scholarships to low-income students but actually enriched Brown and her accomplices, claimed federal prosecutors.
According to reports, following the federal indictments for abusing the charity’s assets, Brown’s former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, and the charity’s president pled guilty and testified against Brown. After it was discovered that One Door President Carla Wiley had transferred $800,000 into the foundation’s account over four years, she pled guilty to one count of conspiracy for wire fraud. Federal prosecutors claim that Wiley gave only one $1,000 scholarship and transferred tens of thousands of dollars to herself throughout that period.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan scheduled a change of plea hearing for Wednesday morning. Brown had previously pleaded not guilty to 18 charges, including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, and filing false tax returns. Corrine Brown pled guilty to one count of tax fraud in her federal case on Wednesday, acknowledging she misled the IRS and claimed false charitable deductions, according to local reporters.
Media reports show Brown’s initial 2017 conviction was overturned by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after Corrigan wrongly dismissed a juror who said the “Holy Spirit” convinced him she was innocent during deliberations.
The seventy-five-year-old Corrine Brown was released in April 2020 after serving nearly two years of a five-year sentence due to concerns that her advanced age left her more vulnerable to the coronavirus epidemic in jail.
Local reports say Brown has been getting her pension all along, and she will continue to do so in the coming years despite pleading guilty to a tax offense. They discovered Corrine Brown may keep her pension while appealing her sentence.
According to law, a criminal conviction must be tied to a member of Congress’ legislative activity in order for them to forfeit their pension.