Attorney says Tyrone Brooks not guilty of fraud - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Attorney says Tyrone Brooks not guilty of fraud

Posted: Updated:
Georgia State Rep. Tyrone Brooks appeared alongside his attorney, former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes. Georgia State Rep. Tyrone Brooks appeared alongside his attorney, former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.
ATLANTA -

Georgia State Rep. Tyrone Brooks appeared at a news conference regarding his recent arrest on fraud and tax charges Thursday, but he didn't speak.  Brooks' attorney, former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, said Brooks is only guilty of bad accounting, and not the fraud charges that have been filed against him.

Brooks was arraigned in federal court on Wednesday. He's accused of stealing nearly $1 million from charities for his own personal use. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Barnes told the media the case against Brooks should have been handled as a civil tax matter and not a criminal case.  

"It is simply just not a crime. You have to have a specific intent to defraud and there is no specific intent to defraud," said Barnes.

He said he was surprised that the case was brought, and he has seen other cases involving millions of dollars with no criminal charges involved.

Barnes said Brooks is presumed innocent, and called statements by federal prosecutors "outlandish and untrue."  He said his client has not profited from his work for organizations, and has not committed a crime.  

"There is a difference between bad bookkeeping and trying to lock someone up for 20 years," Barnes said.   

Though he didn't speak on Thursday, Brooks has told FOX 5's Justin Gray he isn't surprised by the charges against him.

"I'm never surprised," Rep. Brooks said.  "I'm a civil rights worker all my life."

"We're going to explain why all this is happening, and the connection to the Moore's Ford lynchings," Brooks said, adding that there is no doubt in his mind it's connected.

The unsolved Moore's Ford Bridge lunching of two black couples in 1946 has been a long-time passion for Brooks.  But prosecutors say there's no excuse for allegedly pocketing $1 million from charity.  

"No one's good works give them license to steal, especially from the very people they claim to be helping," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Outside Brooks' arraignment on Wednesday, NAACP representatives turned out for support.  

Much more will be revealed a Brooks' trial, which federal prosecutors expect could last about a month.

Former Governor Barnes has already challenged the makeup of the grand jury that returned the indictment against Representative Brooks. He contends that the government's pool of potential grand jurors under-represents African Americans and other minorities.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:13:59 GMT
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
  • GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:46:51 GMT
    Maliah Harris Maliah Harris
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
  • Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:12:43 GMT
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices