Democrats

Indicted Florida congresswoman claims persecution by federal prosecutors

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla. talks with the press in Tallahassee, Fla.

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla. talks with the press in Tallahassee, Fla.  (AP)

A Florida congresswoman indicted on fraud charges is telling supporters she's being "persecuted" by federal authorities because she's black.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and her chief of staff pleaded not guilty after being indicted last week on multiple fraud charges and other federal offenses.

In a statement posted Sunday on her campaign website, Brown says her indictment was part of a "very rough" week that included a black man fatally shooting five officers in Dallas and the killings in Louisiana and Minnesota of two black men by white police officers.

Brown proclaimed her innocence, saying the indictment was "very scary." She wrote: "I'm not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won't be the last."

She was one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.