Bloomberg News

Ex-D.C. Council Chairman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

June 08, 2012

Kwame R. Brown, the former chairman of the District of Columbia council, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bank fraud and a second charge related to a violation of campaign finance laws.

Brown, 41, who resigned from office, admitted in federal court in Washington today to providing false documentation to get loans totaling more than $220,000. In the second matter, Brown admitted in the District of Columbia Superior Court to facilitating a cash payment in excess of legal limits to a person who worked on his 2008 campaign, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen.

“While sitting on the council, Kwame Brown repeatedly falsified and forged documents to deceive the bank into giving him money, even faxing one of the fraudulent documents from his council office,” Machen said. “The people of the District of Columbia deserve better from their elected officials.”

Brown is the second member of the D.C. Council to plead guilty to criminal charges this year. In January, Harry L. Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty to federal theft and tax charges. Thomas was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Brown faces a sentence of about six months in prison for the bank fraud charge and as much as six months for the campaign finance charge, according to prosecutors. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 20.

Frederick Cooke, a lawyer for Brown, didn’t immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment on the pleas.

The bank fraud case is U.S. v. Brown, 12-00135, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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