Corrine Brown Indicted - Pleads Not Guilty

Brown was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on multiple fraud, theft of government funds, conspiracy and other charges.

One of her attorneys lacerated the federal government Friday for not agreeing to push back the arraignment to accommodate Brown's congressional schedule -- she missed several votes Friday -- and for leaks from the criminal investigation.

House rules require any committee chairman or ranking member to temporarily step aside from leadership posts if they are indicted in connection with alleged crimes.

In 1998, the House Ethics Committee announced they were questioning her on a range of ethics concerns, including a $10,000 check she received from a Baptist leader in legal trouble and a $50,000 auto her daughter received from a Gambian millionaire, who was an associate of Brown's facing jail time in Florida on bribery charges.

“Our office is committed to ferreting out and prosecuting all forms of corruption and fraud, regardless of who the offender is, ” said U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley III.

From 1993 to 2016, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons controlled Brown's finances for Friends of Corrine Brown and Florida Delivers Leadership PAC. Rep. Among other scrapes, in 1998, Brown was admonished by the Federal Election Commission for her campaign's forging of the signature of a campaign treasurer on reports. A recent University of North Florida poll found 40 percent of voters were undecided - Florida's August 30 primary is one of the last in the nation, and voters tend not to tune in until then.

In the indictment, prosecutors lay a case that Brown funneled money through One Door and used it to pay for personal things like vacations and luxury box seats to a Beyoncé and a Jacksonville Jaguars game.

Prosecutors allege that Brown and her associates were pocketing funds from a One Door for Education Inc., an organization that billed itself as a charity for poor students even though it was not properly registered as a nonprofit.

Florida congresswoman Corrine Brown speaks during a public rally to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin, at Fort Mellon Park in Sanford, Florida, U.S. March 22, 2012. She faces a primary challenge in a redrawn district, after courts rejected as improperly gerrymandered her longtime district snaking across northeast Florida. The FBI says a relative of Simmons allegedly received $735,000 in government salary despite "performing no known work" and that Simmons diverted over $80,000 of that salary for his personal benefit. Court documents show they allegedly spent money earmarked for the One Door for Education charity for personal travel, luxury hotels, Beyonce concert tickets, box seats at a National Football League game and a personal IRS debt, among other expenses.

During a court appearance on Friday, Brown and Simmons pleaded not guilty, local media reported.

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