D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has been charged with fraud, becoming the second council member to be charged by the D.C. Attorney’s Office this year. The charge against Brown is linked to his personal finances — specifically a home equity loan that Brown secured in 2006 for his home in Hillcrest. D.C. prosecutors claim he overstated his income on loan applications by tens of thousands of dollars to secure the home equity loan and to buy his boat, “Bulletproof.” According to court documents, Brown conducted the scheme from August 2005 through August 2007. Brown on Tuesday said he had no plans to resign, but he met in private with his staff and then with council members and his attorney, Fred Cooke. He reportedly told them he would resign, apologizing and emphasizing that the charge doesn’t pertain to his public duties. The single count of bank fraud was filed in federal court today in criminal information, a charging document that usually signals a defendant’s intent to plead guilty. Brown did not comment to reporters as he left the Wilson Building. He will have a formal statement Thursday. His staff said he told them the council will meet in about a week to replace him with a temporary chairman. A plea hearing was scheduled for Friday, the Associated Press reported. “I’m shocked, disappointed & saddened by today’s news; I served alongside Mr. Brown on Council & never would’ve imagined something like this,” Mayor Vincent Gray tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “Everybody’s mood is quite somber,” Council member Tommy Wells said, “but we’re focused on the integrity and stability of our government.” Brown is also being investigated for possible corruption during his 2008 re-election campaign. He said Tuesday he does not believe he did anything wrong in that campaign. Check out the video….you will not believe it.
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