Jacksonville, FL – Congresswoman Corrine Brown and her chief of staff were indicted on Friday for a conspiracy and fraud scheme that used a fake education charity.
69-year-old Brown is a US Representative for Florida’s 5th congressional district, which includes portions of Volusia county. She and her chief of staff, 50-year-old Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, were charged with 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 the internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns.
“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,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell.
“The defendants are alleged to have committed a multitude of criminal violations, including fraudulently receiving and using hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions meant for a nonprofit organization for their own personal and professional benefit,” said Richard Weber, IRS Criminal Investigation Chief. “The American public expects and deserves equitable enforcement of our tax laws.”
Carla Wiley, the president of the education charity in question (known as One Door for Education, or the Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund), pleaded guilty for her involvement in the scheme back on March 3, 2016.
The Department of Justice wants to remind the public that the charges and allegations in an indictment are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For more on this story go to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.