A long-serving prominent U.S. Congresswoman from Florida has been found guilty on most charges at her federal corruption and tax evasion trial, an outcome that could land her in prison for life.
Jurors convicted Corrine Brown on 18 of 22 charges, effectively saying she raided a charity meant to provide scholarships and computers to poor kids to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for her own personal use. Brown was also convicted of tax evasion and claiming exemptions on her taxes for charitable donations that she never made.
On the witness stand, the Congresswoman tearfully pleaded ignorance, saying her chief of staff created the charity and was responsible for moving money from the charity to her and his personal bank accounts.
The charity raised more than $800 thousand but only disbursed $12 hundred in scholarships. Leaving court after the verdicts, she was visibly shocked and appeared to have been crying.
She did not comment to reporters. Brown will remain free until her sentencing hearing, which has not been set. The crimes the Congresswoman was convicted of could get the 70-year-old essentially the rest of her life in prison.
Brown’s attorney says he will file motions for a new trial, but it is not clear on what grounds.Brown served 12 terms in the U.S. House before she was defeated.