WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge placed former D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown under curfew Oct. 9 and ordered him to make weekly visits with court officials as he awaits sentencing on a bank fraud charge.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon toughened the conditions of Brown's release after the one-time rising political star failed to make three required weekly phone calls to pretrial services. The judge berated Brown for his failure to abide by the previous conditions.
"Don't violate that curfew, because if you do, there won't be three strikes. There will be one. You don't want to know what the next step will be," Leon said. "Don't miss those visits. Think you can handle that?"
Brown apologized for not making the phone calls and assured the judge that he would comply.
The 41-year-old Democrat pleaded guilty in June to falsifying his income on applications for two bank loans, one of which he used to buy a powerboat. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation. Brown resigned his seat as part of the plea deal. He faces up to six months in prison for each offense under federal sentencing guidelines, but is cooperating with prosecutors and hopes to avoid prison time.
After his guilty plea, Brown was released on his own recognizance and ordered to stay in the Washington area, but he has traveled out of town with prior approval from the court. Now, he will have to remain at his Southeast Washington home between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. and check in with pretrial services in person.
Brown told the judge that he was traveling when he missed his first weekly phone call in June. The second time, he said, he had called the prior week to report that he would be out of town, which he thought satisfied his obligation. The third time, in September, he had been in court to be booked and believed he did not need to call.
Brown said he understood the importance of the calls, to which Leon snapped back, "You do?"
His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 13.
"Don't be back here until your day of sentencing, you hear me?" Leon said, pointing his finger at Brown. "This is pretty simple stuff. You shouldn't be here at all. You know you shouldn't be. Don't tempt fate."
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