Antonio Brown Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud
(APN) ATLANTA – On Monday, January 09, 2023, former Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3), and former Mayoral candidate, pled guilty to bank fraud, a violation of Title 18, U.S. Code Section 1344, according to documents obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.
By pleading guilty at a Change of Plea hearing, Brown has avoided a trial on that count (Count Six) and several other counts upon which he had been indicted in 2020.
“The Defendant admits that he is pleading guilty because he is in fact guilty of the crime(s) charged in Count 6,” the Guilty Plea and Plea Agreement states.
The other counts–which included counts that he had authorized his attorney to create fraudulent credit report disputes for auto loans that he, in fact, took out–were dismissed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Brown was supposed to have been on trial later this month.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
According to the indictment, Count Six relates to Brown’s false statements to Signature Bank when he submitted false income and asset information when he applied for a 75,000 dollar loan.
In sum, Brown has lied at least twice: at least once to Signature Bank, when he applied for the loan and submitted false income information; and at least once to the public, when he claimed that the charges contained in the indictment were false.
Bank fraud can carry a federal prison sentence of up to thirty years, with no mandatory minimum.
As part of the plea agreement, the USDOJ agreed to recommend that Brown serve eighteen months of probation, with at least the first eight months on home detention.
“Beginning on or about August 1, 2017, and continuing until on or about August 31, 2017, the exact dates unknown to the Grand Jury, in the Northern District of Georgia, the defendant, ANTONIO BROWN, knowingly executed and attempted to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud Signature Bank, a financial institution whose deposits were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and to obtain, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and by material omissions, certain moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, and other property owned by and under the custody and control of Signature Bank,” the indictment states.
“As part of the scheme to defraud, BROWN sent a loan application to Signature Bank containing materially false information about his income and assets in an effort to secure a $75,000 loan under false pretenses”, the indictment states.
“Specifically, on August 24, 2017, BROWN electronically submitted an application to Signature Bank for a $75,000 loan on behalf of BROWN’s company, LVL XIII Brands (known as Level 13). In the loan application, BROWN falsely claimed that he earned $325,000 per year and had $200,000 in available cash/ assets”, the indictment states.
“In fact and in truth, other documents signed by BROWN during that time period revealed that he actually earned far less than $325,000 per year and had far less than $200,000 in available cash/assets than he represented to Signature Bank. For instance, in a July 2017 loan application to another bank, BROWN submitted a 2016 federal income tax return reporting that he earned $125,000 per year (which was $200,000 less than what he represented that his income was to Signature Bank)”, the indictment states.
“Also, in an August 2017 loan application to yet another bank, BROWN claimed he had an annual salary of $175,000 (which was $150,000 less than what he told Signature Bank), and only had $25,000 in available cash/ assets (which was $175,000 less than what he told Signature Bank)”, the indictment states.
As previously reported by APN, Brown made a number of apparently incriminating statements to federal agents when they interviewed him at his house.
Brown’s attorneys had attempted to suppress the statements from being used as evidence against him, saying he should have been read his Miranda rights; however, the court ruled he was not entitled to a reading of Miranda rights because he was not being detained when he gave the voluntary interview.
Brown was elected to City Council in a 2019 Special Election; he served a partial term before running for Mayor unsuccessfully in 2021.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2023)