Another Democrat has been convicted of corruption and fraud.
Former U.S. House Representative Corrine Brown of Florida’s 5th District was found guilty Thursday on 18 felony charges. These included lying on financial disclosure forms, falsifying information on tax returns, obstructing the IRS, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and inappropriately receiving money from a charity that was supposed to provide scholarships to underprivileged students.
Prosecutors successfully made the case that Brown and two associates moved over $800,000 from Brown’s Charity, ‘One Door for Education,’ into their personal bank accounts between 2012 and 2016. How much did the charity, ostensibly created to assist underprivileged students attain their educational goals, actually hand out to those kids in scholarships? $1,200!
Ronnie Simmons, Brown’s former chief of staff, and Carla Wiley, the charity’s president, provided damaging testimony Brown. The prosecution provided testimony from approximately 50 witnesses over eight days of the trial.
Brown denied intentional wrongdoing to the end. According to ABC News, she told the jury, ““Let me just admit right here and now that there was a lot of sloppy bookkeeping … It was a mistake on my part and I needed to get on top of my taxes.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva had a different take on the motivations and actions of Brown, as he spoke to the jury in his opening statement: “Corruption. Greed. And a significant entitlement attitude. And that’s what this case is about. It’s about lying, cheating, and stealing. It’s about fraud and corruption of the member of the highest level of the American government.”
Brown had represented Florida’s 5th District from January 1993 to January 2017. She lost the seat in the 2016 Democratic primary to Al Lawson.
Corrine Brown faces years behind bars to think about what she could have done differently – like not trying to fool the IRS or use funds meant to advance underprivileged kids education for her own greedy desires.
Like so many other high-profile Democrats before her, like former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, corruption has gotten the better of yet another Dem.