Photo via Corrine Brown/Facebook
Rep. Corrine Brown and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, were charged Friday in a federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, for their roles in a conspiracy and fraud scheme.
Brown and Simmons are facing 24 charges, including 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.
Back in March, the House Committee on Ethics launched an investigation after the Florida Times-Union
released a revealing article suggesting a connection between Brown and the Virginia-based group "One Door for Education," which bilked donors out of about $800,000 by posing as a fake charity.
"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," said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.
Carla Wiley, the president of One Door for Education, has since entered a guilty plea
on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Brown is currently running for re-election in the newly drawn Fifth District, which now stretches from Jacksonville to west of Tallahassee.