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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ex-congressional candidate guilty of defrauding federal food program for the poor

Shaun Brown (WYDaily/Courtesy Shaun Brown for Congress)
Shaun Brown (Southside Daily/Courtesy Shaun Brown for Congress)

A former congressional candidate for Virginia’s 2nd District defrauded a federal food service program that feeds low-income children.

Shaun Brown, 59, of Hampton, was convicted Tuesday in federal court for her role in the fraud conspiracy, which resulted in more than $800,000 in federal funds inappropriately being paid to a nonprofit she ran, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

Brown is scheduled for sentencing March 13 on charges of conspiracy, theft of government funds and two counts of wire fraud, according to the news release.

She faces up to 20 years in prison.

Brown has also been embroiled at the center of an investigation into forged and false signatures gathered by Rep. Scott Taylor’s staffers on a petition for Brown’s bid to get on the ballot.

Brown ran against Taylor for the House of Representatives 2nd Congressional District in 2016.

She was indicted on fraud charges in connection with the food service program in December 2017.

Brown worked with her mother for JOBS Community Outreach Development Corporation, a nonprofit registered in Virginia. In 2011 and 2012, JOBS sponsored a program aimed at feeding food-insecure children after free and reduced lunch programs ended for summer vacation.

The program was funded by United States Department of Agriculture.

In 2012, Brown inflated the number of meals JOBS had served to low-income children, submitting four fraudulent claims for reimbursement from the USDA, according to the DOJ.

To support the inflated numbers, Brown falsified “hundreds” of documents.

Brown also ordered “excessive” amounts of food and milk, “which she was well aware would never be used to feed needy children,” according to the news release.

The food was disposed of in piles behind buildings in Newport News and at a pig farm in southern Virginia.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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