Former Congressional Candidate Sentenced for Fraud Conspiracy
NORFOLK, Va. – A Hampton woman was sentenced today to three years in prison and one year of home detention for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and causing false records, wire fraud, and theft of government funds.
“Brown lied about feeding needy children in our community in hopes of making a financial gain for herself,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to thoroughly investigate those who lie and steal from taxpayers and the federal government. I want to thank our trial team and investigative partners for their incredible work on this important case.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Shaun Brown, 60, defrauded the USDA’s summer food service program (SFSP) aimed at feeding low income children. Brown and her mother ran a non-profit company, JOBS Community Development Corporation, which served as a sponsor for the SFSP. Over the course of the 2012 Summer, Brown inflated the number of meals JOBS purportedly served to low-income children and submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement based on the inflated numbers. Brown also orchestrated a massive scheme to falsify hundreds of documents to support her fraudulently inflated meal count numbers and ordered excessive amounts of food and milk products which she was well aware would never be used to feed needy children. At her direction, Brown’s employees disposed of this food and milk, purchased with federal funds, in large mounds behind buildings in Newport News, as well as a pig farm in Southern Virginia. As a result of her fraudulent actions, the USDA paid JOBS over $800,000 in federal funds.
Brown ran as the Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016. Brown attempted to run again as an independent candidate in the 2018 election, but was removed from the ballot due to other fraudulent actions by Brown and others.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Michael C. Westfall, State Inspector General of Virginia, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth M. Yusi and Melissa E. O’Boyle prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-169.
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