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By Juliegrace Brufke
Former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida was found guilty Thursday of 18 of the 22 charges brought against her in a corruption case.
The charges include conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, lying on financial disclosure forms, obstructing the IRS, taking money from a charity that claimed to be providing scholarships to underprivileged students and falsifying information on tax returns.
Prosecutors said Brown and two of her associates transferred more than $800,000 from her charity, One Door for Education, into personal bank accounts between 2012 and 2016. The charity reportedly only gave out $1,200 in scholarship funds.
Brown’s former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, and the charity’s president, Carla Wiley, both testified against their former boss.
The verdict was given after two days of deliberation and eight days of testimony from roughly 50 witnesses. Brown, who served in the lower chamber from Jan. 1993 – Jan. 2017, said she had made some mistakes, but maintained it was not intentional.
“Let me just admit right her 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,” Brown told the jury, according to ABC News.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva blasted the former congresswoman’s actions during his opening statement, according to ABC.
“Corruption. Greed. And a significant entitlement attitude,” Duva told the jury. “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.”
The date for Brown’s sentencing has not yet been set.