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Former Florida congresswoman who pled guilty to tax fraud running again

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Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), who pleaded guilty to tax fraud in May, on Thursday announced she is running for Congress again in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

Brown served 12 terms in Congress before losing her primary in 2016, one month after prosecutors indicted her in connection with a fake charity. 

“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 release. “Now I see our hard-won gains are being taken away from us. Minorities have lost opportunities to elect candidates of their choice because of the recent gerrymandering in the State of Florida.”

Prosecutors said Brown had funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to a charity for poor students into her personal account. 

She was found guilty on 18 of 22 charges of tax evasion and wire and mail fraud, but a federal appeals court ordered a new trial after Brown had served more than two years of her sentence.

Brown pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud in May and was sentenced to the time she had already served, avoiding the new trial. Brown was also ordered to pay roughly $63,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

In her campaign announcement on Thursday, Brown mentioned her case directly and said her experience has shown her firsthand the inequality of the 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.”

Brown joins 10 other Democrats who have filed for the Aug. 23 primary, according to the state’s elections database.

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who currently represents the 10th District, is running in for the Senate.

The district includes Orlando and is rated as “solid Democratic” by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

Brown said in her announcement that the country has gone “backward” on gun reform, voting rights and abortion.

“We’ve got to turn this country around, move forward instead of backward,” she said. “That’s what this campaign is all about.”

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