Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown Busted For Running A Fake Scholarship Charity

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and her chief of staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons have been indicted on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors allege the two operated a fraudulent charity. 

“Our Office is committed to prosecuting all forms of corruption. In our nation, no one is above the law.” stated U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley

How Corrine Brown Scammed People 

Corrine Brown and others allegedly solicited more than $800,000 from contributors for a fake charity named One Door for Education. The fake charity only gave two scholarships worth $1,200. 

The Congresswoman solicited donations from individuals and groups she knew by being a member of congress. Brown told people the donations were for college scholarships. She also led people to believe that the fake charity was a registered non-profit.

Congresswoman Brown Livin’ Large On Other People’s Money

Corrine Brown used the donations from the fake non-profit for her personal benefit according to the indictment. Simmons allegedly made tens of thousands of dollars of deposits to Brown’s personal accounts. Simmons deposited $2,100 in One Door funds into Brown’s personal bank account. Brown then immediately wrote a check for a similar amount to pay taxes she owed. 

Ronnie Simmons placed tens of thousands of dollars into Brown’s personal bank accounts. Simmons also deposited $2,100 in One Door funds into Brown’s personal bank account. Brown then immediately wrote a check for a similar amount to pay taxes she owed. 

Corrine Brown allegedly used an outside company owned by one of her employees to funnel One Door funds to Brown for personal use. She used $200,000 in One Door funds to pay for lavish receptions honoring herself. Brown also used “charity” funds for a luxury box for concerts and NFL games.

Brown allegedly filed false returns based on her substantial cash deposits to her personal bank accounts. She also took tax deductions based on inflated and fabricated charitable donations. The Congresswoman claimed deductions on her tax returns based on false donations she claimed she made to One Door, as well as to local churches and non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area.

Corrine Brown also claimed tax deductions based on false donations she claimed she made to One Door and to local non-profits in the Jacksonville area.

Brown’s Chief Of Staff Scams The Government

Ronnie Simmons used his position as Brown’s Chief of Staff to obtain congressional employment for a relative. Ronnie Simmons’ relative received approximately $735,000 in government salary payments from 2001 and 2016 despite performing no known work. Simmons also diverted over $80,000 of his relative’s government salary for his personal benefit. Simmons then transferred the funds to his personal bank accounts to make payments on his boat.

Ronnie Simmons is charged with failing to disclose the salary payments that he diverted from his relative’s government employment on his tax returns. 

 

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