Flow of cash to Brown came from multiple sources including Jax city councilman, FBI accountant says

An FBI expert testifies that former Congresswoman Corrine Brown, staffers, illegally moved money around to keep the Congresswoman financially afloat.

As FBI Forensic Account Kimberly Henderson continued her testimony in the corruption trial of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, it became clear she didn't get her alleged 'enrichments' from just one source.

Henderson testified that One Door For Education contributed the most money to Brown's bank accounts over the course of 2012 - 2015, Henderson testified to the jury Tuesday afternoon after a brief recess. Also on the list: public relations firm The Alexander Agency, the Friends of Corrine Brown campaign account and Reginald Gaffney through his various businesses.

Gaffney is a Jacksonville city councilman who has known Brown for a long time.

Henderson testified that through various not-for-profits and for-profit companies started by Gaffney, Brown and her daughter Shantrel received and split $15,400 in cash.

The Alexander Agency, headed by Voncier Alexander, a part-time staff member since 2003, gave Brown and her daughter $11,500 over four years.

One Door For Education, the bogus charity at the heart of the trial, gave the pair $35,410.

Without these cash deposits, Brown's accounts would have seen numerous overdraws from 2012 - 2015, Henderson told the court.

"There would have been numerous significant overdraws [without the thousands of dollars in cash deposits each month]?" the prosecution asked Henderson.

"Yes," she replied.

According to a chart Henderson created, without the extra money coming in, Brown's accounts would have been thousands of dollars in the negative each month. In one four month span from January to May 2009, each month would have seen her account overdrawn about $9,000.

"At times, it is perfectly normal to have cash deposits it your account," she explained to the jury, "so it was our job to find odd deposits."

She said some of the cash deposits were coming from family to pay mortgage payments and added it was for her discern which cash deposits were legitimate and which were questionable.

From when FBI agents began questioning people close to Brown in January 2015 until the indictment was handed down at the beginning of July 2016, Henderson told the court there weren't any more cash deposits into any of the congresswoman's account.

She had $159,481 deposited into her account over 90 months. Without that money, she would have had an average monthly deficit of $1,400 running for each of those months.

The former congresswoman is facing 22 charges of mail, wire and tax fraud for her actions related to the One Door education fund, which was never allowed to take in charitable donations but took in $800,000 since Brown attached her name to it in just four years.

Her chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, was facing 18 similar charges, but entered into a plea deal with the government in exchange to testify against the former congresswoman in February.

Simmons would regularly pull out the maximum cash amount from the One Door account for a day and then drop the money in his boss's account. Henderson walked the jury through at least a dozen instances where Simmons would pull out $800 a day in Laurel, Maryland where he lived and then go to Brown's bank a few hours or days later and drop the money into the former congresswoman's account.

The Alexander Agency would cut checks to cash that Alexander would then cash and deposit into Brown or her daughter's account. She testified Monday that the money came from reimbursement for personal funds the congresswoman used for official purposes. She also said she was paid in odd ways and sometimes kept some of the reimbursement money when the congresswoman let her.

Gaffney and his various agencies, including the Community Rehabilitation Center that he's headed for some time, would cut checks to cash and Alexander would often handle these checks as well.

Henderson sat on the stand from lunch until the end of the day Tuesday, taking the jury through undeniably wonky and complicated financial transactions. She and Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva did their best to make the testimony interesting and they were helped by the content of the evidence.

They showed various charts with flowcharts, pictures, graphs and stills trying to help the jury visualize how the money flowed.

Judge Timothy Corrigan could be seen rubbing his eyes more than once during the testimony. The final few hours of witness testimony Monday had a CPA and tax preparer explain IRS forms into Tuesday morning. An IRS auditor also took the stand Tuesday.

In that testimony, witnesses focused on the large amount Corrine Brown claimed to have given to charity, including local HBCU Edward Waters College, local churches and the CRC.

Henderson, after doing a forensic analysis of Brown's accounts, testified that she never donated to Edward Waters after 2009. She claimed on her IRS forms she had.

When James Smith began his cross-examination, he questioned if Henderson never looked at Brown's reimbursements throughout her time in Congress. She did not, she said. He also probed for more clarification on each of her charts and the reasoning behind why each was constructed in the way it was.

He wouldn't be able to complete his cross-examination before Corrigan ended court for the day shortly before 5 p.m.

Simmons is expected to take the stand first thing Wednesday morning shortly after the court finishes Henderson's testimony.

He worked with the former congresswoman as her chief of staff through her tenure in the House of Representatives, first serving District 3 and then District 5 as the first woman of color elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. Brown's described Simmons as like a son to her. When he defected in February after presenting a largely united front against the charges. Brown told the media she was heartbroken by his defection and still cared for him.

Simmons had control of the One Door account, according to the government's case. He would regularly deposit cash into his boss's account and kept thousands of the $800,000 for himself.

READ | Fireworks fly amid tedious tax testimony in Corrine Brown corruption case

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