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Reports say representative used charity donations as slush fund

According to allegations, a Florida congresswoman, her chief of staff and the president of the charity One Door for Education Foundation used more than $800,000 raised for the charity as a slush fund. The money was supposed to be used for scholarships and other educational benefits, but instead, the three allegedly spent the money on conferences, luxury boxes for an NFL game and other items. Reportedly, only $1,200 in scholarships was given away.

The congresswoman, Rep. Corrine Brown, pleaded guilty to involvement in March and was later indicted. Charges named in the indictment include theft of government property, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, concealing facts on required financial disclosure forms, filing false tax returns and mail and wire fraud.

Brown was first elected to office in 1992 and currently represents Florida's 5th Congressional District. The donations were allegedly collected between 2012 and early 2016.

Investigations into white collar crime may often begin with what seems like mild questioning. In some cases, a person might not realize that they are the target of an investigation. As a result, if a person is questioned in connection with any kind of investigation, they might want to consult an attorney. A person who is charged with a white collar crime may face not just legal but professional repercussions. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, the person might then need to decide whether they are more concerned with clearing their name or reducing penalties. A person should not assume that simply because the crime is a white-collar one that the penalties will be light. They might want to discuss the charges with an attorney and develop a strategy for defense.

Source: US News, "Florida Congresswoman Indicted in Alleged Fraud Scheme," Lauren Camera, July 8, 2016

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