Corrine Brown Loses Primary Amid Fraud Indictment

Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.) / AP
August 31, 2016

Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.) lost her primary in Florida's 5th congressional district Tuesday amid her indictment over allegedly using a phony charity as a slush fund, The Hill reports.

She's the fifth House incumbent this cycle to lose a primary:

Brown, who was indicted last month and whose district was redrawn after court-ordered redistricting, was defeated by former state Sen. Al Lawson in a primary for the Jacksonville-area seat.

With 98 percent of the votes counted Tuesday night, Lawson had 48 percent to Brown's 39 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Brown has been charged alongside her Chief of Staff with 24 counts of fraud:

In early July, Brown and Chief of Staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, were charged with 24 counts of fraud in connection with a fake charity. The charges include mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and tax fraud, according to the Department of Justice.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that not only did she deposit $800,000 to the fake organization, she also received $5,750 from registered lobbyists.

More than $800,000 was deposited into One Door for Education, Brown’s Virginia-based organization, over the course of four years. Only two checks totaling $1,200 went to charitable activities, according to the Justice Department indictment.


A review of the records shows that Brown’s legal fund has received $5,750 in donations from three registered lobbyists, which is prohibited by House ethics rules.

The first contribution to Brown’s legal defense fund was made by Carl Chidlow on July 24, 2011. Chidlow was a registered lobbyist for the Florida-based Cardenas Partners, LLC at the time of his $250 donation. Chidlow was the finance director of the Democratic National Committee from 2006 to 2009.

A few days after Chidlow’s donation, on July 27, a second contribution from a registered lobbyist was given to Brown’s legal defense. Richard Pinto, who works at the D.C.-based Fabiani & Company, cut a $5,000 check to the trust.

Published under: Democratic Party , Florida