Ethics rules prohibit contributions solicited by Brown’s chief of staff
Rep. Corrine Brown’s (D., Fla.) legal defense fund accepted thousands of dollars in contributions from registered lobbyists, which is prohibited by House ethics rules.
Brown and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, were indicted last week on 24 counts of fraud stemming from a sham foundation established by the congresswoman.
More than $800,000 was deposited into One Door for Education, Brown’s Virginia-based organization, over the course of four years. Only two checks totaling $1,200 went to charitable activities, according to the Justice Department indictment.
Federal authorities found that the money was used for the personal benefit of Brown, Simmons, and Carla Wiley, the foundation’s president. Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in early March. The trio used $200,000 worth of funds to purchase goods and services like NFL tickets, plane tickets, luxury vacations and car repairs, and to throw lavish events.