More details emerge in fraud charges against state lawmaker - CBS46 News

More details emerge in federal fraud charges against state lawmaker

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

New details have emerged in the federal fraud charges against state Rep. Tyrone Brooks.

A grand jury indicted Brooks and accused him of using a charity he set up as his personal bank account, defrauding donors of nearly $1 million.

Brooks is accused of defrauding some corporate power players, including Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific and Northside Hospital.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said that Brooks funneled nearly all of the money those organizations contributed into his personal bank account.

The 54-page federal indictment, which included 30 charges of mail, wire and tax fraud, charged Brooks with defrauding donors from 1990 through 2012.

CBS Atlanta stopped by Brooks's office at the State Capitol, but his assistant said he was not there.

When asked if he misappropriated funds the assistant answered, "No comment, and I can't answer any questions."

Brooks is the head the Georgia Association of black elected officials and a charity called universal humanities, through which Brooks claims to operate a program called visions of literacy, aimed at helping people to learn to read.

Yates said however, none of the money contributed went to that charity.

"Sadly, as a result of Brooks' misappropriation, the intended beneficiaries did not receive the need literacy training or assistance," Yates said.

Brooks is accused of misleading some heavy hitters in the corporate and healthcare worlds.

The indictment accused brooks of collecting $10,000 from Georgia Pacific in April 2009.

From 2005 through 2012, Brooks took about $240,000 from Northside Hospital for literacy training and tutoring students, according to the indictment, and $400,000 from Coca-Cola from 1995 through 2011.

CBS Atlanta called Brooks to ask about the charges against him, but he said to wait for his press conference and not bother him in the meantime.

When asked if he committed fraud, Brooks responded, "sir, we're going to hold a press conference. You're insulting me now. Don't harass me."

Yates also said that Brooks lied about the members on Universal Humanities' board of directors.

Brooks claimed six members sit on the board.

"In reality, Universal Humanities has no functioning board of directors," and "most of the purported board members had never heard of Universal Humanities," according to the indictment.

Civil rights activist Joe Beasley, who was listed as a board member, said he was not part of the charity and had no knowledge it.   

Beasley, however, defended Brooks' character, calling him "a good friend" and an "honorable man."

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