Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Florida has been indicted by a grand jury following a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity.
According to ABC News, "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."
Both Brown and her Chief-of-Staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons have entered "Not Guilty," which Brown feels the trial will show.
"My heart is just really heavy. But I'm looking forward to a speedy day in court to vindicate myself," Brown said after the hearing. "We will present the other side."
Outside the courthouse, supporters swarmed Brown, with some carrying signs. One particular sign read: "Justice or else. Corrine matters."
Investigations into Brown occurred earlier this year when 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. "
According to federal prosecutors, the organization"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 charges against Brown, Simmons and Wiley state they "used the vast majority" the donations for personal activities, lining their bank accounts with tens of thousands of dollars in cash. Below are some of the personal expenses alleged to have been paid for by the fraudulent funds:
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.
One Door money was also used for such things are repairs to Brown's car and vacations to locations such as the Bahamas, Miami Beach and Los Angeles. In addition, House of Representatives money was used to pay a "close family member" of Simmons identified as "Person C" more than $735,000 between 2001 and 2016 for a job in Brown's office that involved little or no work, according to the indictment. Simmons allegedly benefited from some of that money.
"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 A. Lee Bentley. "In our nation, no one is above the law."
Unless your last name happens to be Clinton.