No verdict in Florida ex-congresswoman's fraud trial

No verdict in Florida ex-congresswoman's fraud trial

No verdict in Florida ex-congresswoman's fraud trial

Federal prosecutor Eric G. Olshan told jurors the real victims are the worthy kids who could have gotten scholarships.

Brown's lawyers argued that her former chief of staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons was the person responsible.

The verdict, which had to be unanimous, came after over 11 hours of deliberation from a restructured jury that seemed content to take its time and review the facts before making a decision.

Starting back at square one, the jury asked the judge about how much responsibility should fall on Brown for her false tax returns and what the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt when it comes to mail fraud.

Rep. Corrine Brown - here seen talking with the press in Tallahassee, Fla., in 2015 - was convicted of more than a dozen federal fraud charges Thursday. So, of course, Simmons and the charity's president testified against her.

The jury delivered its verdict Thursday afternoon, and it wasn't what the defendant wanted to hear.

Brown left the courtroom quietly, with her head hanging slightly, a contrast to the flamboyant and often bombastic style she used for years in confrontations with political opponents and the media. "I know how to rob Peter to pay Paul", Brown responded. She faces up to 20 years for each fraud or conspiracy conviction.

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The jury convicted Brown of 18 of the 22 separate criminal counts a grand jury indicted her for in July.

She sat 24 years as a member of Congress before losing re-election last year. Prosecutors say she funneled money from a nonprofit education fund into her personal accounts. Simmons and Wiley have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme, the Justice Department said.

Prosecutors accused Brown of siphoning off the funds and spending them on lavish trips, elaborate parties and shopping excursions. But Simmons, who has pleaded guilty to two related charges, testified that Brown ordered him to take money from One Door's accounts and deposit it into her personal bank account.

"She has gotten stuff done and stands up for what she believes in", said Duncan.

During Wednesday's 8:15 a.m. hearing, Judge Timothy Corrigan said that juror told the deputy she and other jurors have been concerned about one juror's statements about Brown and "higher beings".

"[This verdict] was just like when Dr. King got killed, the moment and time when he got indictment, it really hurt", said Jelly Jackson. "He fooled One Door for Education, he fooled Carla Wiley, and he certainly fooled the investigators".

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