Convicted felon, tax cheat, and former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown will attempt to mount a political comeback by running for Congress again this year.
A new release reported by WJXT-TV announced Brown's candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in Florida's 10th Congressional District, which represents much of the Orlando area. It states that the former congresswoman, who pleaded guilty last month to a federal tax fraud charge, will seek the seat currently held by Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who is running to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
“I’ve represented most of the people of the new 10th District during my 24 years in Congress and I always earned huge support in this region,” Brown said in a statement. “Now I see our hard-won gains are being taken away from us."
Brown, 75, pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud last month after she admitted that she lied to the Internal Revenue Service about her income and about deductions she had claimed. She was sentenced to 32 months of time served and was ordered to pay $62,650 in restitution fees to the IRS.
She was previously convicted in 2017 for 18 fraud and tax crimes related to a scheme to funnel money from a fake children's charity into her personal bank accounts. Brown's sentencing judge called her crimes "especially shameless" at the time, since she had robbed children of promised opportunities to fund her own lavish lifestyle. She was sentenced to serve five years in prison but was released on humanitarian grounds in April 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, last year, an appeals court overturned Brown's conviction after it ruled that the judge was wrong to have dismissed a juror who claimed "the Holy Spirit" had told him Brown was innocent. Prosecutors had sought to re-try the case, but her plea deal puts the matter to rest.
In her release, Brown said her experience shows "the inequality of the American judicial system."
“There are far too many innocent people wrongly imprisoned,” Brown said. “Too many people whose lives have been ruined because of a racially biased and broken judicial system. And there are too many people who are being overlooked and underpaid by both the State of Florida and the federal government. If nobody else is going to stand up to right these wrongs and fight for those who are being denied their God given rights to freedom, justice, and the ability to participate in our democratic system, I will!”
Before her fraud case, Brown served in Congress from 1993 until 2017.