On July 7, five Dallas police officers were shot and killed by Micah Xavier Johnson, who expressed his anger towards white people and his desire to kill them, especially white police officers. He told this to Dallas Police negotiators before they sent in a robot equipped with an explosive device that killed him and ended the standoff that ensued after his initial attack. The nation is in mourning for those officers that he killed, but while that’s unfolding, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was indicted on 24 counts relating to fraud and corruption.
Congresswoman Brown allegedly used her position to amass $800,000 in donations for a fraudulent charity that ended up being used for personal matters, including depositing tens of thousands of dollars into her personal bank account (via Associated Press):
Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, and Chief of Staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, 50, entered pleas in Jacksonville federal court on charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns.
The 24-count indictment comes after an investigation into the purported charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc., which federal prosecutors say was billed as a way to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.
Earlier this year, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it was determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation's account over four years. Over that time, federal prosecutors say it gave one scholarship for $1,000 and $200 to an unidentified person in Florida, while Wiley transferred herself tens of thousands of dollars.
"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, chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in a statement.
"Corruption erodes the public's trust in our entire system of representative government," Caldwell added.
The indictment says that Brown, Simmons and Wiley "used the vast majority" of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown's personal bank accounts.
According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament, lavish receptions during an annual Washington conference and the use of luxury boxes for a Beyonce concert and an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Rep. Brown faces 357 years in prison for her actions if she’s found guilty on all counts and receives the maximum sentences. What’s her reaction, besides saying she’s not guilty? Well, if the federal authorities weren’t looking into her personal slush fund, they could’ve stopped the Orlando attack, or something.
“These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of the agent [sic] and we ended up with 50 people dead,” she said.
Newsflash, congresswoman—the FBI can handle multiple investigations at once. It’s not their fault that they caught onto these solicited donations for an alleged fake charity, whose funds were withdrawn from D.C.-based ATMs, which were then deposited into your bank account, and that of your chief of staff. That sounds like corruption. It sounds like the FBI did its job.
On June 12, Omar Mateen committed the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history by killing 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. He had no prior criminal history, and yes—the FBI interviewed him multiple times for his remarks he made about terrorism at places of employment. He was later cleared. FBI Director James Comey said that the agency is looking at ways in which things could’ve been handled differently. At the time of his briefing on the matter on June 13, Comey said that there wasn’t anything that came to his mind that the FBI could’ve done differently. It’s not illegal to say crazy things, but it is crime to allegedly use a fake charity’s funds for your own enrichment.
UPDATE: Oh, and of course, Rep. Brown thinks that race is at play here, according to Politico.
"I’m not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won’t be the last,” said Brown.