Prosecutors: Corrine Brown Used Fraud Charity to Rob Children in Need

Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.), center, pictured with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, and former Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) / Getty Images
May 8, 2017

Prosecutors wrapped up their closing arguments Monday in the tax evasion and fraud trial of former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.) by telling jurors the evidence overwhelmingly shows that Brown used her 'charitable organization' to illegally benefit herself and staffers.

The prosecution added that Brown's actions effectively led to needy children being robbed of scholarships.

"The real victims are all of those worthy kids who could have gotten scholarships, who needed a leg up. That's who she robbed from, those kids," Eric G. Olshan, one of the prosecutors, said during the one-hour closing arguments against Brown, reported.

In July 2016, Brown and her chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, were indicted on 24 counts of fraud stemming from a foundation created by the former congresswoman.

Brown used One Door for Education, the Virginia-based "charitable foundation" she launched, for the personal benefit of herself and her staffers.

More than $800,000 was deposited into the foundation, but only $1,200 went to charity.

Federal authorities found that Brown, Elias, and Carla Wiley, the foundation's president, instead spent $200,000 of the group's funds on NFL tickets, luxury vacations, plane tickets, car repairs, and lavish events.

Brown also wired the foundation's case into her bank account, an FBI agent said during the trial.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Monday afternoon, reported.

Published under: Corrine Brown , Corruption