Former Florida congresswoman Corrine Brown faces a lengthy jail sentence after she was found guilty of misappropriating funds from a charity dedicated to funding the educations of poor students. But it’s what she spent that money on that has outraged her constituents even more.
“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,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement.
Funds came pouring between 2012 to 2015 from donors who were led to believe that they would be used to help poor and minority students attend college; instead, the so-called charity only spent $1,200 toward that cause.
Of the remaining money, Brown used upwards of $300,000 to host glitzy parties, purchase luxury box seats at sporting events and Beyoncé concerts, and fund vacation expenses for Brown and her associates.
The disgraced lawmaker even lied on her taxes, claiming that she had given $28,000 per year to charity when she only had given $6,600.
In all, Brown was convicted of conspiracy, five counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, one count of scheme to conceal material facts, one count of obstruction of IRS laws and three tax fraud charges.
The maximum number of years that Brown could spend in prison due to her crimes is a whopping 277, but lawyers close to the case believe that she could only be incarcerated for just two to three years due to a variety of mitigating circumstances, including her clean priors and the fact that she is 70 years old. House arrest has even been floated as a possibility.