Former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown was found guilty Thursday of taking funds from a fake charity that was supposed to serve as a scholarship fund for underprivileged students.
Brown, 70, was found guilty of fraud and tax evasion for spending an estimated $800,000 from the One Door for Education Foundation on parties, luxury vacations, and shopping sprees, CBS News reported.
A jury convicted her on 18 of the 22 charges, including lying on her tax forms and congressional financial disclosure forms.
WJAX reported that Brown kept an expressionless face as the judge read the verdict on each of the counts, while one person could be heard crying softly in the courtroom.
Brown pleaded not guilty to all 22 counts in August 2016 after she was indicted, but lost her re-election bid later that month when she was defeated in the Democratic primary due to the indictment, WJXT reported.
Brown was indicted along with her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, after Brown created the One Door for Education Foundation and only spent $1,200 on charitable causes out of the $800,000 she deposited into the foundation.
Simmons pleaded guilty to fraud back in February.
“Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown violated the public trust, the honor of her position, and the integrity of the American system of government when she abused one of the most powerful positions in the nation for her own personal gain,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco said in a statement.
Brown released a statement through her attorney saying that she “maintains her innocence” and intends to “file a motion for a new trial.”
Brown will not go to jail right away. It will be at least 90 days until she will be sentenced.
Brown, who earned a master’s degree from Florida A&M and another from the University of Florida, is perhaps best remembered by sports fans for a 2009 proclamation she made on the House floor when she attempted to congratulate the Gators football team’s national championship victory. Her speech went viral. See below: