At this point it’s difficult to know whether Blacks are prosecuted at a higher rate than whites or if Black lawmakers leave themselves open for federal prosecutions.
In recent months we’ve watched the trial of “Playa Maya” Kwame Kilpatrick, the resignation of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., the arrest of several New York state lawmakers and the arrest of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Now add to that list Tyrone Brooks, a well known Georgia legislator who was just indicted on charges of misappropriating a million dollars in charitable funds.
A grand jury had been investigating the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials (GABEO) for some time. After interviewing several witnesses, the FBI recommended Brooks’ indictment.
“Mr. Brooks exploited two charitable organizations for his own personal financial gain which came at the expense of the intended beneficiaries of the charitable donations,” Veronica Hyman-Pillot, special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigation, said in a statement provided to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who use charitable organizations for their personal gain.”
Brooks, 67, is charged with 30 counts of mail, wire, and tax fraud. According to the indictment, Brooks took donations from donors to fund his illiteracy charity but used the donations to pay for personal expenses. Brooks allegedly took large donations from Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola and Georgia Power.
Brooks told reporters that he has no knowledge of any wrongdoing.