Che Brown, Kwame's brother, expected to plead guilty to bank fraud
WASHINGTON (AP) - The brother of former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown was charged Wednesday with bank fraud - the same charge that led Kwame Brown to resign his seat earlier this year - and intends to plead guilty, his attorney said.
Che Brown was charged in a criminal information, a charging document that can only be filed with the defendant's consent. According to the two-page document, Che Brown claimed $35,000 in income that he never received when he made a loan modification request to GMAC Mortgage in 2010.
The conviction would be Che Brown's second for bank fraud. He pleaded guilty to the charge in 1995 and was sentenced to 4 months in a halfway house and ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution.
Kwame Brown also pleaded guilty to inflating his income on bank loan applications, derailing a fast-rising political career that saw him ascend to the second-highest elected office in the city. He used one of the loans to buy a powerboat that he named "Bullet Proof." Kwame Brown was sentenced last month to one day in the custody of federal marshals, 2 years of supervised release and community service.
The U.S. Attorney's Office began investigating the Browns after the District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance found irregularities in Kwame Brown's 2008 campaign for an at-large council seat, including $239,000 in unreported payments to a consulting firm operated by Che Brown.
In addition to the bank fraud charge, Kwame Brown pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation relating to a $60,000 side account opened by Che Brown during the campaign.
Che Brown's attorney, A. Scott Bolden, said in an emailed statement that his client will plead guilty to the charge, which Bolden noted involved "personal mistakes" and not political graft.
"While bank fraud ... is serious as a charge, it is far from the public claims of campaign finance funds missing or stolen or inappropriately used," Bolden wrote. "No charges have or should be brought against my client for theft of campaign funds or political corruption."
Che Brown, 44, is president of Partners in Learning, a sales-coaching firm. His father, Marshall Brown, has worked on numerous political campaigns in the district.
Bolden said Che Brown was underwater on his mortgage when he submitted the loan modification application. The charge, Bolden said, related to "his desire, like millions of other Americans with reduced or limited income during a failing U.S. economy, to modify his home mortgage."