VIRGINIA (AP) -- A congressional candidate in Virginia has been charged with stealing from a federal government program for low-income children.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said a grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday against Shaun Brown, who's running for the Democratic nomination in the state's 2nd Congressional District, which includes Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore. The indictment says Brown, 58, submitted fake paperwork for a group she worked with that administered a free-lunch program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Daily Press reports that Brown, who lost last year's congressional race against U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, has sued the agency alleging that it falsified documents.

Her attorney, Jimmy Ellenson, said Brown maintains her innocence and will "vigorously defend" against the criminal charges.