Former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown convicted of fraud scheme

Story highlights

  • Brown unsuccessfully ran for re-election last year
  • Charges included conspiracy and filing false tax returns

Washington (CNN)A former member of Congress was found guilty Thursday on federal charges related to a fake education charity.

Former Rep. Corrine Brown, who represented Florida as a Democrat, was convicted in Jacksonville, Florida, on 18 counts, according to the Justice Department.
Charges against Brown, 70, included conspiracy involving the fraudulent scholarship charity, filing false tax returns and concealing income on congressional disclosure forms.
The Justice Department said Brown and two co-conspirators solicited more than $800,000 in donations for the One Door for Education -- Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund between 2012 and 2016, frequently from individuals and companies Brown knew through her congressional position. One Door was not a registered nonprofit and most of the money went to their own pockets or was spent on lavish events in Brown's honor, DOJ said.
Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, Brown's former chief of staff, and Carla Wiley, the One Door president, both pleaded guilty previously, in February of this year and March 2016, respectively.
The group was indicted in 2016, and Brown stepped down from her congressional leadership post -- though not her congressional seat -- after the charges were announced.
While facing the indictment Brown ran for re-election, but was defeated in her primary last year.
A sentencing date has not been set.