Corrine Brown Seeks Donations To Fund Defense

Sep 19, 2016

Departing Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown is soliciting online donations to support her legal defense fees in her federal corruption case.

“On this website, you can make a donation to my legal defenses fund. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated,” Brown wrote on the Corrine Brown Legal Expense Trust website. The site also said she was “falsely accused” by the federal government of conspiracy and fraud, and how the charges were filed “immediately prior” to her Aug. 30 primary election.

Brown is facing 22 federal charges, including counts of conspiracy and fraud, related to her involvement with a shell charity.

Brown’s chief of staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons faces 19 counts of his own.

Her attorney, Orlando-based James Smith, is confident she’ll raise enough money with the help of her constituents due to the work she’s done over the years. Smith also explained it’s not unusual for people to seek donations to help pay for their defense.

“It’s an expensive thing and it’s totally appropriate within the boundaries of law to ask for help in order to take care of legal expenses,” Smith said.

In all, Brown could face 357 years in prison and a fine of $4.8 million if convicted of all the charges.

Brown represented District 5 for more than 20 years, before losing in the Democratic primary to former state Senator Al Lawson.

News intern Blake Allen can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter @BAllenMMJ