WASHINGTON (WUSA) --Che Brown, former D.C. council chairman Kwame Brown's brother and campaign operator,pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of bank fraud. The charge stems from a scheme in which he submitted false documents to a mortgage lending service to get approval of a modification on a mortgage for his home, according toU.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.
Brown is scheduled for sentencing on March 5, 2013.
The bank fraud charge carries up to 30 years in prison. There is an agreement that Brown could spend up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
According to authorities, Brown fell months behind on his mortgage in 2009 and was told the mortgage was in default. GMAC Mortgage LL told him toconsider whether he was eligible for a loan modification.
Then, according to authorities, betweenSeptember 2009 and September 2010, Brown submitted documents that made it appear that he had received $35,000 in income -- but he didn't receive that money. Due to the documents, Brown was deemed qualified for the mortgage modification, which ultimately reduced his monthly payments by more than $700 a month.
Che Brown started to be investigated after authorities started investigatingthe campaign activities of Kwame Brown. Kwame Brown pleaded guilty in June 2012 to a federal charge of bank fraud stemming from false documents that he used to get a $166,000 home equity loan and a $55,335 loan for a boat. Kwame Brown was sentenced in November 2012 to a day in confinement and six months of home detention. Kwame Brown will be placed on two years of supervised release and will have to perform 480 hours of community service.
Thursday,the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia released the following statement:
"Today we informed the D.C. Board of Elections that we have completed the federal criminal investigation into the activities of the 2008 campaign to re-elect Kwame R. Brown to the Council of the District of Columbia. As a result of that investigation, Kwame Brown became the first public official in District history to plead guilty to a criminal violation of our campaign finance laws. The investigation also led to the discovery of unrelated financial crimes by Kwame Brown and his brother, Che Brown, both of whom have now pleaded guilty to bank fraud in federal court. We do not plan to bring any additional criminal charges related to the 2008 Kwame Brown campaign.
The closure of our criminal investigation should not be interpreted as a clean bill of health for the 2008 Kwame Brown campaign. The criminal law is not a panacea for addressing all breaches of the public trust. Conduct that does not warrant criminal prosecution may nevertheless be illegal and subject to civil penalties. More importantly, misconduct by our leaders should be heavily scrutinized by the public, which should expect its public officials not only to govern with integrity but also to operate their election campaigns in an ethical manner. The completion of our investigation paves the way for the D.C. Board of Elections to resume public proceedings on the civil complaint filed against the Kwame Brown campaign last year."