Former Atlanta City Council member Antonio Brown has pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud as part of a plea deal with federal authorities.

Former Atlanta City Councilmember Antonio Brown pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bank fraud this week and will avoid a trial that was set to start later this month.

Brown entered the guilty plea Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court. He was scheduled to go to trial on multiple fraud charges on Jan. 23, according to court documents. The news was first reported by Atlanta Progressive News website.

Brown was indicted in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges that he claimed identity theft in order to get out of paying off tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and car loans.

The charge Brown entered the plea for involved lying on a 2017 application to Signature Bank for a $75,000 loan. The DOJ said he gave the bank false financial information claiming he earned $325,000 per year and had $200,000 in available cash or assets. Brown had reported far less income and assets in previous loan applications.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 13. Brown could face up to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors are recommending he serve 18 months of probation with the first eight months of probation to be spent on house arrest, according to court documents. The final decision will be made by the judge.

Brown won a 2019 city council special election for District 3 to replace the late Ivory Lee Young. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2021 while denying the federal charges.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.