Feds ask for 6-month sentence for Kwame Brown's brother

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Local,DC,Crime,Alan Blinder,D.C. Council

Federal prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to sentence Che Brown, the brother of ex-D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, to six months in prison for lying about his income on mortgage paperwork.

Prosecutors, who requested the sentence in a court filing ahead of Brown's sentencing on Tuesday, cited the "complex and deliberate nature of his scheme" and "the defendant's failure to appreciate the seriousness of his crime" as factors in their recommendation.

Che Brown pleaded guilty in December to a single count of bank fraud for inflating his income by $35,000 when he applied for a loan modification in 2009. He was convicted of the same charge in 1995, a history that didn't sit well with prosecutors.

"The fact that the defendant would even consider engaging in another bank fraud scheme -- after avoiding a jail sentence in his first case -- speaks volumes of his respect for the law and the need for a more substantial sentence in this case," prosecutors wrote.

Che Brown's most recent skirmish with authorities came about six months after Kwame Brown pleaded guilty to bank fraud -- he also lied about his income on a loan application -- and resigned from his post as the District's No. 2 official. He was sentenced in November to a single day in custody and six months of house arrest.

Che Brown's lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, had not filed a sentencing recommendation as of late Thursday afternoon.

But Brown's legal team has already submitted more than a dozen letters from supporters to U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who could ignore the recommendations from both sides and hand down a sentence of 30 years in prison.

"I have the utmost faith and belief in Che Brown's character," wrote Linda Cropp, Kwame Brown's predecessor as the leader of the D.C. Council. "This action was not part of a patterned behavior. It was a rash and unwise activity... He is a decent, well-intentioned man, who is capable of being a positive and productive citizen of our community."

And Kamal Ali, the owner of Ben's Chili Bowl, said he thought Brown's error did not "necessarily reflect his true character."

Federal authorities began investigating the Brown brothers after an audit of Kwame Brown's 2008 campaign by D.C. officials uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspicious transactions.

Along with the felony bank fraud charge, Kwame Brown pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the city's campaign finance laws.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said in December that he had closed his office's investigation into the Brown campaign.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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