Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brown's Finances Detailed at Trial; Ex-Representative's Account Would Routinely Overdraw without Deposits

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brown's Finances Detailed at Trial; Ex-Representative's Account Would Routinely Overdraw without Deposits

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Hong, Steve Patterson & Nate Monroe

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown spent $128,000 more than her income could cover over the seven years before she was indicted on federal fraud and tax charges, jurors were told Tuesday.

What kept her afloat, they were told, was cash from the sham charity One Door for Education; from allies and her campaign committee, Friends of Corrine Brown; even from tax refunds prosecutors say Brown got by lying about donations to churches and real nonprofits.

The 12-term congresswoman would have gone broke fast without that money, said an FBI forensic accountant.

Accountant Kimberly Henderson testified Brown's expenses averaged $1,438 more each month than her income - about $175,000 a year - as a member of Congress with a pension from Florida's Legislature.

"It was a gap that really had to be covered with cash deposits," she said before describing $159,000 of cash put into the accounts.

Henderson described researching bank records of more than a dozen people and organizations to trace twisting streams of money that masked a desperate spending problem.

Henderson told jurors that Brown would have overdrawn her account for the "overwhelming majority" of those years without the cash infusions.

The cash deposits came from a variety of sources and wasn't reported on her tax forms as income.

More than $35,000 came from One Door, the organization at the center of the 22-count indictment that could put her in prison for the rest of her life.

Thousands more came from people around the Community Rehabilitation Center, the nonprofit run by City Councilman Reginald Gaffney. More came from a private consulting firm owned by Von Alexander, a long-time Brown staffer.

Brown's fraud charges stem from money she solicited for One Door since 2012, but Henderson said she noticed significant amounts of cash being deposited into Brown's bank account years earlier. …

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