Corrine Brown amanpour
CNN  — 

Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and her chief of staff were indicted Friday for their roles in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving a fraudulent education charity, the Justice Department announced.

Brown, of Jacksonville, Florida, and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, of Laurel, Maryland, were charged in a 24-count indictment, included charges of 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 the internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Attorneys for Brown could not be reached Friday morning because they were still in court.

Brown’s office said Friday afternoon she was temporarily stepping down from her role as ranking member on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the charges against Brown “deeply saddening” and said she was right to step down from the Veterans’ Affairs committee.

CNN’s Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.