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Representative charged in charity fraud scheme

New York residents may be following a story involving a Florida congresswoman who has been indicted for her role in a fraud scheme. The woman allegedly solicited $800,000 between 2012 and early 2016 for a charity called One Door for Education Foundation that claimed it would use the funds for college scholarships.

However, records show that only $1,200 was given to students to help cover college expenses. Authorities say that tens of thousands of dollars were used for personal purposes such as renting a luxury box at a professional football game. As a result of the allegations, the congresswoman was indicted on 24 charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, committing mail and wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

She was also indicted on charges of theft of government property and concealing facts on financial disclosure forms. In a statement, the an FBI representative in Jacksonville said that corruption undermines the public trust in government. The woman had been in Congress since 1992, and was seen as an advocate for veterans issues. Her chief of staff was also indicted, and the president of the charity pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme in March 2016.

Those who are under investigation for embezzlement, tax fraud or other financial crimes may wish to seek legal counsel. An attorney may be able to review the case to determine the best way to dispute the charge or charges. For instance, it may be possible to argue that money was gifted or loaned to an individual as opposed to stolen without permission. It may also be possible to argue that there was no intent to steal or otherwise conceal missing or misappropriated funds.

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