Former Democrat Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), a convicted felon, has announced she will be running for U.S. Congress again.
Brown issued a statement to Florida media saying that she will be a candidate for the 10th Congressional District of Florida, an Orlando area Congressional district, despite her guilty plea on fraud charges last month.
Brown pleaded guilty last month to one count of tax fraud in her federal case.
She had been sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 but was let out after two years due to the pandemic.
She had her conviction overturned and was set to stand trial again in the fall.
“I’ve represented most of the people of the new 10th District during my 24 years in Congress and I always earned huge support in this region,” Brown said.
“Now I see our hard-won gains are being taken away from us.”
“There are far too many innocent people wrongly imprisoned,” Brown added.
This is apparently real. Yeah https://t.co/fqKG1xB53i
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) June 16, 2022
As part of a plea deal, the other 17 counts against Brown were dropped, and she was sentenced to 32 months of time served and was ordered to pay restitution of $62,650 to the IRS.
She also waives the right to seek a refund of the $31,000 or so that was collected from her and lawfully disbursed to victims other than the federal government, while the appeal was pending.
“We just needed to put this behind us,” Brown said on the steps of the federal courthouse after the hearing.
“I wanted to put it behind me and move forward.”
Brown’s attorney successfully petitioned for a retrial after her conviction on wire and tax fraud charges.
The plea deal last month puts an end to that retrial, which had been scheduled for fall 2022.
Brown’s plea agreement gave details of Brown’s actions related to her tax returns, which were the basis of the criminal charge — corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due process of the Internal Revenue Service laws.
Prosecutors said that for the 2008 to 2014 tax years, Brown didn’t report income associated with cash deposits into her bank account.
During that same period, prosecutors said Brown over-reported her charitable giving, by inflating the value of gifts to charitable organizations and nonprofits.
Prosecutors said that also included letters Brown asked two of the non-profits to create for her use during an IRS audit.
The letters did not accurately reflect the donations.
The plea agreement goes year-by-year detailing the organizations and donations involved: Edward Waters College (now known as Edward Waters University), Community Rehabilitation Center (CRC), Bethel Baptist Church, and New Destiny Church, as well as One Door for Education, the fake charity prosecutors said Brown used as a personal slush fund.
During Brown’s 2017 trial, representatives of EWC, CRC, and the two churches testified about discrepancies between what was reported on Brown’s tax returns, and what the records of the organization reflected.
But when Judge Timothy Corrigan formally sentenced Brown on May 18, he said that she “succumbed to greed” on her taxes.
Brown will continue to get her pension from her time served in Congress, and there is no probation included in her sentence.