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Kwame Brown hit with campaign finance charge

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Local,DC,Liz Farmer,Alan Blinder

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has been charged with breaking the District’s campaign finance laws, just one day after he quit the city’s No. 2 post after federal authorities accused him of bank fraud.

Brown, 41, was charged in D.C. Superior Court with aiding and abetting an unlawful campaign expenditure.

In a brief filing, prosecutors wrote that Brown allowed a relative — identified in court records only as “Person 1” — to open a secondary campaign bank account to pay for additional campaign activities.

Described as a “side account,” the money was used to boost Brown’s get-out-the-vote operations during his unopposed campaign for re-election in 2008.

“Brown knew that Person 1 would be making individual campaign expenditures in excess of $50,” prosecutors wrote, a violation of city law.

Prosecutors filed the charge in a criminal information, a type of court filing that indicates a guilty plea is imminent.

Brown’s campaign has been under investigation for nearly a year, a probe that began in July 2011 after the city’s Office of Campaign Finance referred an audit to federal prosecutors.

At the time of the referral, Board of Elections and Ethics Chairman Togo West said he suspected “criminal” activity in the Brown campaign.

The charge against Brown is the second he has faced in as many days.

On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Brown with a single felony count of bank fraud. Brown, elected to the council’s top job in 2010, resigned within hours.

Brown is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on the felony charge at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Examiner Staff Writers Scott McCabe and Emily Babay contributed to this report.

Kwame Brown - Stamped Information - Superior Court

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