On July 8, Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, Brown’s chief of staff, were charged in a 24-count indictment for their roles in a conspiracy and fraud scheme.  The indictment alleges that between 2012 and 2016, Brown and Simmons solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations for One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund, a fraudulent educational charity.  The president of One Door pled guilty for her involvement in the scheme in March 2016.  Brown and Simmons allegedly solicited donations based on false representations that the money would be used in part for college scholarships and school computer drives.  The government alleges that, in fact, the money was used for their personal benefit and that only $1,200 in scholarship funds was ever awarded.  Additional charges relate to, among other things, tax obstruction and filing false returns.   U.S. v. Brown and Simmons, 16-cr-00093 (M.D. Fl.). DOJ Press Release