Feds allege Atlanta City Councilmember Antonio Brown lied about income and defrauded banksAntonio Brown. CREDIT GRACE WALKER / WABE
Atlanta, GA — A sitting Atlanta city councilmember has been indicted for crimes that allegedly occurred before he was elected.
District 3 Councilmember Antonio Brown was elected in 2019 to finish the term of the late Councilmember Ivory Lee Young Jr. Of late, he’s been heavily engaged with reforming the city’s police department. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Brown has become an “increasingly vocal member of the council this year, leading protests against police brutality and forming a task force to address the issue.”
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, before Brown was elected he defrauded banks and credit card companies by claiming he was the victim of identity theft.
“Beginning in 2012, Antonio Brown opened a number of credit cards, which he then used to make thousands of dollars’ worth of purchases for his own personal benefit,” Pak said. “Brown also obtained over $60,000 in automobile loans to finance the purchases of a Mercedes C300 and a Range Rover. Despite opening and using these credit cards and despite taking the money for the two automobile loans, Brown allegedly falsely claimed that his identity had been stolen and that someone else had made the credit card purchases or had taken out these loans.
“The indictment further alleges that Brown provided false information to Signature Bank when applying for a $75,000 loan in August 2017. During the loan application process, Brown provided a personal financial statement falsely claiming that he earned $325,000 per year and had $200,000 in available cash or assets. Brown allegedly knew this information was false because he had recently submitted other loan applications reporting far less income and available cash or assets. 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). Further, 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 and assets (which was $175,000 less than what he told Signature Bank).”
Pak noted that he charges are unrelated to Brown’s current work as a councilmember.
“For years, Antonio Brown allegedly sought to defraud a number of banks and credit card companies by falsely claiming that he was the victim of identity theft,” Pak said. “Brown’s scheme was eventually brought to light, resulting in his indictment by the grand jury.”
City Council President Felicia Moore said that Brown will not have to give up his seat on the council as a result of the charges.
“As the public has been made aware, Councilmember Antonio Brown has recently been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on multiple charges unrelated to his service on the Atlanta City Council,” Moore said. “At this time, no vacancy on Council exists as a result of this occurrence. A vacancy would only exist in the event of a resignation, conviction, or state-level suspension. Per the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Northern District of Georgia), please be reminded that the indictment only contains charges and the defendant is presumed innocent until otherwise proven at trial. This is a personal matter to be addressed by Mr. Brown as he undergoes due process of the law.”
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