Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown Convicted of Tax Evasion & Fraud
Since 1993, Corrine Brown was one of Florida’s most prominent lawmakers. But the Jacksonville Democrat has learned she is not above the law. Brown, 70-years-old, lost her re-election bid this past November, shortly after she was indicted on 22 charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to commit mail fraud along with aiding and abetting mail fraud. This week a Jacksonville jury found Brown guilty on 18 of the charges. She now faces more than 300 years in prison. The trial focused on a bogus charity Brown allegedly used to throw lavish parties and for her own personal expenses.
A Long Fall From Grace
Regardless of your status, every American is obligated to file their taxes. Brown is the latest high-profile person to be convicted of tax fraud. Brown had initially pled not guilty to all charges. However, the IRS discovered Brown had provided false information on her tax returns along with her congressional financial disclosure forms. Brown’s former chief of staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons also pled guilty for misusing the charity’s funds. He eventually testified against Brown.
Between 2012 and 2016, Brown and her associates ran a charity called One Door For Education, which raised more than $800,000. According to Simmons, Brown ordered him to withdraw cash and checks from the charity’s account. He did this dozens of times, including a whopping $800 from an ATM near his home. Simmons would then deposit much of the money into Brown’s personal account. He also admitted to keeping some of the money. Brown denied the charges, insisting Simmons had done everything on his own. The jury’s verdict comes as a shocking end for Brown political career and personal freedom. Back in 1992, Brown was one of the first three African-Americans from Florida since reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Brown’s congressional seat was designed to increase African-American representation in Congress. Her district stretched from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando and Orange County.
Over the years, Brown was credited for raising millions of dollars to fund projects in her district, including $377 million of earmark requests in 2010. She also served alongside Republican John Mica on the congressional railroads subcommittee to bring huge amounts of transportation funds to her district.
The Consequences of Tax Fraud
Countless people throughout Florida struggle with a variety of tax problems. It can even happen to some of our publicly elected officials. But it is no excuse to lie and deceive the IRS. Many people believe they can pull a fast one on the government. Chances are sooner or later, you will get caught. However, not every case of tax fraud is the same. Sometimes the IRS can also make mistakes. The worst mistake is to take on the IRS alone.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Tax Lawyer Today
When it comes to your taxes, honesty is always the best policy. But if you are struggling with tax problems, don’t wait for them to go away. It is time to take immediate action. The first important step is to contact an experienced legal professional with a track record of protecting the rights of each client. Fort Lauderdale tax attorneys Ira L. Zuckerman are always ready to help. They bring more than 30 years of combined experience in Florida tax law to help those struggling with some of the most complex tax problems. To learn more, contact law offices of Zuckerman Law, LLC and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.