It seems like United States politicians can’t go a few days without being accused of some sort of misconduct, be it sexual, financial, criminal, or civil. Now, to add to the woes of a party that has been under assault with sexual harassment and assault claims that dethroned Representative John Conyers of Michigan and Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, claims have been made against a nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Virginia, Shaun Brown.
Shaun Brown, who is a Democrat, has recently been indicted for events that allegedly occurred in 2012 on charges of embezzlement, fraud, and theft. Prosecutors said Brown received money from the federal government (more specifically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also known as the USDA) through her nonprofit organization as part of a Summer Food Service Program. Rather than defend herself against these claims, Shaun Brown has chosen to claim that the USDA and other government organizations are racist, and that they delayed payments to her nonprofit due to this racism.
The problem is that they allege that the some of the money she received, an amount in excess of $800,000, came from Brown filing false reimbursement claims with a state-level partner in the program, the Virginia Department of Health. Prosecutors suggest that this was done both willfully and maliciously, and that Shaun Brown and associates told employees of her nonprofit organization to inflate their claims for the number of meals they fed to low-income children over the summer, and that the nonprofit organization would keep the fraudulent money.
Even Shaun Brown admits that her program had filing issues, though she opted to call them ‘irregularities’. In statements, Shaun Brown said that she wants the “irregularities corrected,” and that she wants to see the program improve.
In December, Shaun Brown filed a lawsuit against the USDA, as well as naming the Virginia Department of Health and other organizations in the suit. This suit seeks $10 million in damages for Shaun Brown and her mother, Jenever Brown, who co-founded the nonprofit with Shaun Brown.
The lawsuit claims, among other things, that the Browns were the targets of discrimination against African-Americans, delayed payments, and falsified claims for reimbursement as well as falsified reimbursements.
In 2016, Shaun Brown ran a mostly self-financed campaign against Scott W. Taylor (a Republican) to represent Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington, D.C. Though she lost by an astonishing 23 percentage points, she has announced she plans to run for the same seat again in 2018, hoping that other Democrat wins in Virginia will better her chances.
Neither Brown nor the Democrat Party of Virginia has yet released a statement to the media, but it is fair to assume that neither are happy about the charges, and that having such charges hanging over Shaun Brown’s head will not make it any easier for her to beat an opponent who already demolished her by 23 points.
Shaun Brown’s organization is not the first to attempt to take advantage of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which is all the sadder if you understand the purpose behind the program. The Summer Food Service Program from the USDA is meant to help provide meals to low-income youths (under the age of 18) who normally receive their meals for free at their local school.
In the summer of 2017, it set a very ambitious goal, a goal of serving 200 million meals to qualifying children over the summer. The USDA and local organizations attempted to do this by providing meals at approved sites across the country, meals prepared by a variety of organizations, individuals, and even businesses.
‘Nonprofit’ organizations like Shaun Brown’s served only to undermine the ability of the USDA and its partners to make sure every child who needed a summer meal or two was able to get one. $400, 000 may not seem like much, but imagine how much peanut butter and jelly that buys, or how many boxes of macaroni and cheese it could put in hungry mouths.
If convicted, not only should the Brown family no longer be able to receive government funding, but they should be in federal prison for purposely and maliciously defrauding the federal government to line their own pockets at the expense of children.
Further, the Democrat party, which commonly uses children as pawns in their political schemes to push everything from gun control to single-payer health care, should be ashamed to count among their numbers a person who seems to be happy to earn a living by fraudulently taking money from programs that are meant to help poor children to find meals during the summer.