Che M. Brown, 44, Washington, D.C., pled guilty to a federal charge of bank fraud stemming from a scheme in which he submitted false documents to a mortgage lending service to win approval of a modification on a mortgage for his residence. Brown pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Honorable Amy Berman Jackson scheduled sentencing for March 5, 2013. The bank fraud charge carries up to 30 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range for this offense would be up to six months in prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000.
According to a statement of offense signed by the government as well as the defendant, Brown fell several months behind on his monthly mortgage in 2009. GMAC Mortgage LLC, a mortgage lending and servicing business, informed him that the mortgage was in default. GMAC also sent a letter to Brown in June 2009 that advised him that he should consider whether he was eligible for a loan modification that would make his monthly mortgage payment more affordable.
According to the criminal information, from September 2009 through September 2010, Brown schemed to defraud GMAC by submitting documents that made it appear that he had received $35,000 in income that he, in fact, had never received. Based on those and other representations, Brown was deemed qualified for the mortgage modification, which ultimately reduced his payments by $717.44 a month, to $1,499.
This prosecution arose from a broader investigation into the campaign activities of Kwame R. Brown, the former chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia. That investigation also led to the conviction of Kwame Brown in another bank fraud matter. Brown pled guilty in June 2012 to a federal charge of bank fraud stemming from false documents that he used to secure a $166,000 home equity loan, as well as a $55,335 loan that he used to purchase a boat. The Honorable Richard J. Leon sentenced Kwame Brown in November 2012 to a day in confinement and six months of home detention. Following the period of home detention, Kwame Brown will be placed on two years of supervised release; during that time, Judge Leon ordered that he perform 480 hours of community service.
The cases were investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Washington Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation.
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Debra Evans Smith, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Rick A. Raven, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Acting Assistant Director in Charge Smith, and Special Agent in Charge Raven commended those who investigated the case for the FBI and IRS-CI. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who prosecuted the case, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys David S. Johnson, Maia L. Miller, Matt Graves, and Ellen Chubin Epstein; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Butler, of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.
Finally, they expressed appreciation to Forensic Accountant Crystal Boodoo; Paralegal Specialists Diane Hayes, Lenisse Edloe, Krishawn Graham, Tasha Harris, Shanna Hays, Christopher Samson, and Nicole Wattelet; former Paralegal Specialist Sarah Reis; former Legal Assistant Jared Forney; Criminal Investigators Matthew Kutz and Duncan Templeton; Litigation Support Services Specialist Thomas Royal; Information Technology Specialist Kimberly Austin; Victim-Witness Coordinator Dawn Tolson-Hightower; former Student Law Clerks Carl Barnes, Iris Postelnicu, and Danielle Rosborough; and Intelligence Specialist Lawrence Grasso, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.