US Attorney’s Office: ‘No comment’ on court overturning Corrine Brown’s 2017 conviction

JACKSONVILLE. Fla. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida offered, in part, “no comment” in response to Action News Jax’s questions on whether Corrine Brown will receive a new trial.

“We have no comment on the Court’s decision; and are evaluating the matter internally,” said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson, William C. Daniels, in a statement to Action News Jax.

The federal fraud convictions for former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who represented Northeast Florida in Congress, were overturned Thursday, according to a filing from the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The court said in the Thursday filing, “We vacate Brown’s convictions and sentence and remand for a new trial.”

Brown went to trial in Jacksonville and was originally found guilty in May 2017 on 18 of 22 charges connected to the fraud, which involved soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a sham charity organization and using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead.

She surrendered for her five-year prison sentence on Jan. 29, 2018.

In April 2020, Brown and her attorneys filed an “Emergency Motion for Compassionate Release,” which stated that she has several ailments, including “hypertension, thyroid removed, diabetes, heart murmur, acid reflux, sleep apnea and cataracts.”

Also in April 2020, she was released from federal prison due to coronavirus concerns.

On Friday, Brown’s friend and confidant, John Crossman, said he’s kept in touch with Brown since she went to prison.

“So, after everything went down with her personal situation and she was incarcerated at [United States Penitentiary, Coleman], I then reached out to her and was fortunate enough to go and spend an extended amount of time while she was in prison,” said Crossman.

Action News Jax learned Brown remained eligible for her congressional pension under the terms of the “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.”

The law says a former member of Congress only loses their pension after they are finally convicted of a crime, and there are no longer any appeals pending.

While the National Taxpayers Union says the federal government doesn’t reveal pension dollar amounts, the NTU estimates Brown is eligible for up to $66,000 per year.