A former Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia is accused of stealing money from a federally funded school nutrition program years ago.
Shaun Brown, 58, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Norfolk on charges of wire fraud and theft of government property. The scheme lasted at least nine months in 2012, according to the indictment, and involved more than $400,000 in fraudulent reimbursements.
According to the indictment, Brown worked in 2011 and 2012 for a nonprofit called JOBS Community Outreach Development Corp. that worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program to provide meals to low-income children during school breaks. Prosecutors say that Brown and others directed employees to fill out fake forms inflating the number of meals served and would then pocket the extra funds.
Brown, who owns an export firm, ran a largely self-financed campaign against now-Rep. Scott W. Taylor (R) last year for the 2nd Congressional District seat vacated by Scott Rigell (R) and lost by a 23-point margin. Democrat Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie in the district on his way to winning last month's gubernatorial election, and Democrats are expected to target the seat more aggressively next year. Brown told the Virginian-Pilot in July that she plans to run again; at least three other Democrats are competing in the primary.
Brown could not immediately be reached for comment. The Democratic Party of Virginia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.