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Former Congressional candidate Shaun Brown sentenced on federal fraud charges

A jury convicted Shaun Brown of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and one count theft of government property.

NORFOLK, Va. — Former Congressional candidate Shaun Brown was sentenced to 36 months in prison on Wednesday, after being found guilty on federal fraud charges.

Brown also faces three years of supervised release, which includes 12 months of house arrest.

"She didn’t do it," said her attorney James Ellenson. " Anybody who knows Shaun and has investigated completely would know that she didn’t steal any money for her own personal gain, that’s for sure."

Last October, a Newport News jury convicted Brown of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and one count theft of government property.

RELATED: Former Congressional candidate found guilty on federal fraud charges

Prosecutors argued she had stolen from the USDA's Summer Food Service Program in 2012, years before her failed House of Representatives run in Virginia's 2nd District. Brown, then the Democratic nominee, lost to Republican Scott Taylor in 2016.

Brown and her mother ran a non-profit company, JOBS Community Development Corporation, to help feed low-income children. During the 2012 summer, Brown inflated the number of meals JOBS served and submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement based on the inflated numbers.

She also orchestrated a massive scheme to falsify hundreds of documents to support her fraudulently inflated meal count numbers. Brown even ordered excessive amounts of food and milk products, which she was well aware would never be used to feed the children. 

At her direction, Brown’s employees disposed of the food and milk, purchased with federal funds, in large mounds behind buildings in Newport News as well as a pig farm in Southern Virginia.

As a result of her fraudulent actions, the USDA paid JOBS over $800,000 in federal funds. The court found she took at least $75,000 for herself.

In court, before Judge Henry Morgan handed down Brown's sentence, he said she showed no remorse for her actions. 

In a final speech, Brown blamed the USDA, former employees and even blasted her own attorney for quote “turning on her.”

Prosecutors called Brown a "public menace" who schemes and takes advantage of people and the government. 

"Not true," said Brown, after the hearing. "Other than that, no comment. I’m concentrating on my mother."

Brown's elderly and sick mother played a part in the judge's sentencing, as Brown is the sole caretaker.

A judge ordered Brown to turn herself in to begin her sentence by noon on March 20. 

RELATED: Shaun Brown's attorney files motion for new trial

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