Ex-D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown’s sentencing delayed until November

September 10, 2012

The sentencing of former D.C. Council chairman Kwame R. Brown, who pleaded guilty in June to bank fraud, has been postponed until November so he can keep cooperating with investigators.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon disclosed the decision Monday in a docket entry that rescheduled the sentencing from Sept. 20 until Nov. 13.

The judge, who based his decision on sealed court motions, cited the need to give Brown (D) more time “to complete his cooperation.” Under terms of his plea deal, Brown agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and agents investigating his case by providing “complete, truthful, and candid disclosure of information.”

The docket entry noted that Leon denied a motion to file court papers under seal but granted another to postpone the sentencing. It is not clear whether the motions were filed by the government or Brown’s attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., or when they might be made public.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment. Cooke did not reply to a phone message.

Brown resigned as council chairman just two days before pleading guilty in early June to bank fraud and a separate misdemeanor charge of violating city campaign law. In pleading guilty to the federal charge, Brown admitted that he falsified information on two bank loan applications because he did not think he would be approved without “artificially inflating his income.”

Brown also admitted in D.C. Superior Court that his campaign in 2009 paid an expense in cash that was greater than $50, a misdemeanor offense, related to his reelection bid for an at-large council seat the previous year. He won the chairman’s race in 2010.

Under federal guidelines, Brown faces up to six months in jail on the bank fraud charge. The judge initially scheduled the sentencing for Nov. 12, which is a federal holiday, before moving it to the next day.

Brown was the second council member this year to resign from office and plead guilty to felony charges. Harry Thomas Jr. (D) was sentenced in May to 38 months in federal prison for stealing more than $350,000 in city funds.

Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart contributed to this report.

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