Jacksonville, Fla. – U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple fraud charges and other federal offences in a grand jury indictment unsealed after an investigation into what prosecutors call a phoney charity turned into a personal slush fund.
- Florida Democratic Representative Corrine Brown & her staff were indicted Friday for their part in a conspiracy and fraud scandal
- The scandal involves a fraudulent education charity, accordion to the Justice Department
- Brown will be temporarily stepping down from her role as ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
- Brown’s Chief of Staff, Elias Simmons, of Laurel, Maryland, was also indicted
- The charges include participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, concealing material facts on required financial disclosure forms, theft of government property, obstruction of the due administration of internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns
- Allegedly, out of $800,000 collected by the organization, it gave one scholarship for $1,000
- “Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the congresswoman’s official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement