Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has been convicted for living the high life, and according to the Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union, she could be spending the rest of her life behind bars. (She’s already 70.)
This may come as a shock to some of you, but apparently Brown was a good old-fashioned crooked politician. She used her position and her charity work to pocket untraceable amounts of cash, spending, the FBI estimated, $1,438 more per month than she actually took in.
If you don’t think that will send up red flags the IRS-CI is bound to notice, then you’re probably not clear on how this sort of thing works. A grand jury had previously voted to move forward on 22 charges against Brown. She was convicted on 18. Sentencing is still to come, but each of the crimes carries with it a sentence of as much as 20 years. Even if they all run concurrently, Brown would potentially be in prison until she is 90.
Brown is said to have earned $175,000 in salary during her time as a government official, which is theft on its own in our opinion. That doesn’t count the “per diem” these crooks get for travel. That’s just the amount they have to live on. Brown used her children’s charities and campaign finance committees to funnel additional cash, however.
The FBI issued a pretty scathing statement following the conviction, remarking that the former congresswoman “took an oath year after year to serve others, but instead she exploited the needs of children and deceived her constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas.”
That came from FBI Jacksonville Division Special Agent in Charge Charles Spencer, who added that corrupt public officials “undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust, and that is why investigating public corruption remains the FBI’s top criminal priority.”
In a prepared statement, Spencer said he was proud of the Bureau’s special agents, analysts, and support personnel, “who spent countless hours following the money trail in this case, and (I) thank our law enforcement partners at the IRS-CI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts to hold Brown and her associates accountable for their inexcusable actions.”
Great job, guys. One down, 535 more to go.
(Featured Image: WFTV)