Former D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown could get longer-than-expected sentence

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Photo - Kwame Brown
Kwame Brown
Local,DC,Liz Farmer

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday for two offenses, should prepare for a harsher punishment than the six-day weekend jail sentence recommended by prosecutors, experts told The Washington Examiner.

"If I were an interested observer I'd, tell [him] to bring a toothbrush," Joseph diGenova, the former U.S. Attorney for D.C., said on Monday.

DiGenova noted the judge that Brown is scheduled to appear before in federal court is fair but "very serious about his job." Brown already made waves with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon last month when he skipped three of his weekly calls to the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency, which were a requirement of his release agreement.

Kwame's misdeeds
• Applied for a loan from Industrial Bank in 2005, inflated his income on loan application. Awarded $184,000 in credit.
• Applied for $56,000 loan in 2007 to buy a 38-foot powerboat; altered a Form 1099 to make income for a consulting job $85,000 (was actually $35,000).
• Authorized a relative to open second bank account during 2008 campaign and to make withdrawals from that account for the campaign.

Brown pleaded guilty in June to felony bank fraud and acknowledged that he had falsified documents to secure a pair of loans totaling more than $200,000. Prosecutors, who noted Brown's cooperation with an ongoing investigation into corruption inside the D.C. government, also asked for three years of probation.

Leon has a reputation of being an independent judge, observers said.

"From personal experience and with my clients, people who take him lightly make a big mistake," said diGenova, who added he expected Brown would get more than the prosecutors' recommendation. "Mr. Brown and his classic laissez-faire, indifferent approach to complying with court orders in pretrial -- that was a very bad move," he said.

Another attorney who has known Leon for roughly two decades but asked for anonymity to speak candidly said he thought the judge was angered by Brown's actions leading up to his sentencing.

"He's the kind of guy -- don't embarrass him. And that's what Kwame did," said the source, who also believes Brown will get a harsher sentence than prosecutors recommended.

Indeed, when Leon called Brown into his courtroom last month to hear the ex-politician's excuse for not calling in regularly, he warned him that the missed phone calls could affect his thinking as he considers Brown's sentence.

"This is not the way you position yourself most favorably," Leon said at the time.

Brown is also scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in a separate matter in D.C. Superior Court. He pleaded guilty there in June to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge.

Both charges carry a maximum of six months in jail.

lfarmer@washingtonexaminer.com

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