Shaun Brown

Former Democratic congressional candidate denies wrongdoing after indictment for embezzling money from program for needy children

A former Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia was indicted Wednesday on fraud and theft charges after being accused of embezzling money from a charity that provided food for low-income children.

Shaun Brown, 58, is facing charges of wire fraud and theft of government property for a scheme that lasted nine months in 2012, according to a report by The Washington Post.

In 2011 and 2012, Brown worked for a non-profit organization called JOBS Community Outreach Development Corp, which worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. The program worked to provide food for low-income children during school breaks.

Brown, among others, allegedly instructed employees to fill out numerous fake forms over the course of nine months. This inflated the number of meals served, and Brown is accused of pocketing the extra reimbursement funds.

The organization reportedly received over $800,000 in reimbursements from the Summer Food Service Program, Fox News reports.

Brown is scheduled to reappear in court on January 12. She denies any wrongdoing. Her attorney, Jimmy Ellenson, says she “maintains her innocence,” according to Mediaite.

In the meantime, Brown and her mother, Jenever Brown, are suing the USDA for discrimination against African-Americans. They are seeking $10 million in damages.

Last year, Brown ran against now-U.S. Rep. Scott W. Taylor for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat. She lost to the Republican candidate by 23 points. Brown has said that she plans to run for the seat again in 2018, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

[Feature Photo: Shaun Brown/Daily Press via Twitter]