A Jacksonville, Fla. news station obtained photographic evidence from the trial of recently convicted former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.) that showed the extent of her lavish living that was funded by a bogus charity.
Brown was found guilty of wire fraud and tax evasion on May 11. The charges stemmed from a phony charity, One Door for Education, that Brown used to enrich herself. The Washington Free Beacon reported that more than $800,000 was deposited into the sham foundation, but only $1,200 of that money went to charity
Among the evidence obtained was a picture of a birthday cake for Brown's daughter that cost the charity $750. The evidence file also includes pictures at events funded by the charity of dignitaries like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), a longtime Florida congresswoman and former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
"The cake, the food, the booze, and the band all paid for with donated money to the bogus nonprofit, the One Door for Education, year after year," News4Jax reporter Lynnsey Gardner added.
"The tabs ranged from $40,000 to 50,000 annually," Gardner said. "The government argued it was no reception with needy children in mind. It was a party for Brown that represented the excess her circle came to expect."
The news station also showed photos of Brown and her chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, depositing cash from the charity into personal bank accounts, News4Jax reports.
Tuesday, News4Jax obtained photos of Brown and her chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, depositing cash taken from a bogus charity's account into personal bank accounts.
The additional evidence obtained Wednesday includes a photo of a birthday cake for Brown's daughter that cost the charity $750. There numerous other photos of dignitaries, including Florida Rep. and former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, at events honoring congresswoman that were funded by the charity.
The tabs ranged from $40,000 to $50,000 annually–all paid by One Door for Education, the unregistered Virginia charity that was founded and run by Carla Wiley, at one time Simmons' girlfriend. No needy children attended these parties and no scholarships were handed out.
Wiley and Simmons pleaded guilty to related charges prior to Brown's trial and testified against her.
Click here to see the photos.
The Free Beacon reported further about Brown's conviction:
Federal authorities discovered last year that Brown, Elias, and Carla Wiley, the foundation's president, spent $200,000 of the group's money on NFL tickets, luxury vacations, plane tickets, car repairs, and lavish events.
An FBI agent testified during the trial that Brown had cash taken from the foundation and funneled into her bank account.
During the two-week trial, Wiley said that she lied to the FBI last year "out of fear" and that she had funneled $140,000 of charity money into Brown's bank account, Action News Jax reported. Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in March 2016.