- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The brother of former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown has been charged with bank fraud — the same offense that brought down the erstwhile lawmaker — on accusations he submitted documents to a mortgage company to make it look as if he earned $35,000 in income he never actually received.

Federal prosecutors say Che M. Brown tried to defraud GMAC Mortgage LLC with the scheme between September 2009 and September 2010. The charge was outlined Wednesday in a criminal information, a type of document that typically indicates a guilty plea is imminent.

While the parties and particulars differ, the charge against Mr. Brown is remarkably similar to the offense his high-profile brother pleaded guilty to in June, forcing him to resign from city hall in disgrace and face sentencings on Nov. 13 in separate courthouses on local and federal charges. The former chairman served one day in custody with U.S. Marshals and will be confined to his home for six months.

Brown, the former council chairman, admitted last summer that he secured a hefty loan from 2005 to 2007 by overstating his income on a home-equity application, going so far as to change a “3” to an “8” on a tax form so it looked as if he earned an additional $50,000 in 2006. He also submitted false information to secure a line of credit for his luxurious boat, “Bullet Proof,” prosecutors said.

He also pleaded guilty to violating the city’s campaign finance laws by authorizing a relative to set up a “side account” for his 2008 re-election campaign as an at-large member of the council. In the year preceding his guilty pleas, Brown had been plagued by questions surrounding his 2008 re-election campaign after an April 2011 audit said he passed $239,000 in expenditures to a firm controlled by his brother, Che.

The new charges against Che Brown to not make any reference to campaign-related issues.