Albert C. Brinson has returned to the U.S. District Court for sentencing on fraud charges, more than nine years late and after seeing considerable of the world on borrwoed time.
In the years since he fled the United States, Brinson has been banished from France, where he was convicted on drug trafficking, and was arrested in Kenya for false pretenses.He's home now, his lawyers said yesterday, because he wants his young family to live in America, and because he wants to see his father, who is dying of cancer.
Yesterday, Judge John Lewis Smith ordered that Brinson, 37, be held without bond in the D.C. Jail. He faces up to 10 years in jail on the fraud convictions, and the government has made it clear that it intends to bring fugitive charges against him.
Ten years ago, Brinson was charged with defrauding 92 Howard University students and graduates of money they had paid for a Thanksgiving holiday trip to the Bahamas. After a weeklong jury trial, Brinson was convicted of five fraud charges.
The late Judge Leonard Walsh eventually released Brinson on personal recognizance pending a sentencing date in March 1971. Brinson failed to make the court date, and has been a fugitive since, according to court records.
In Paris in 1974, Brinson was convicted of drug charges and spent 18 months in a French jail. He was released -- short of his three-year term -- after he paid a penalty of 2,000 francs to French authorities, according to his lawyer, A. Franklin Burgess of the City's Public Defender Service.
Premanently banished from French territory, Brinson flew to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, according to court records, where he ran an export-import business. In January of 1979, Brinson was charged with false pretenses in Nairobi, Kenya, but the charges eventually were dropped after Brinson made restitution to a bank involved in the case, Burgess told a reporter.
Last March 28, Brinson arrived at Logan Airport in Boston where he was arrested, according to court records. A magistrate there released him on a $10,000 unsecured bond on his promise that he would appear in Washington to answer for his nine-year-old conviction.
At 10 a.m. on April 1, Brinson turned himself in to U.S. marshals in Washington. A magistrate here decided to leave the responsibility for Brinson's bond to the chief judge of the District Court.
Judge Smith, acting yesterday as chief judge, decided to hold Brinson in jail and rejected his lawyer's plea that Brinson be released on personal recognizance.