Former Michael A. Brown Campaign Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion, Campaign Finance Violations

Michael A. Brown

A former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty Thursday to income tax evasion and violations of campaign finance laws, according to a press release from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hakim J. Sutton, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion, a federal offense, and one count of knowingly filing a false and misleading campaign finance report.

Sutton was the principal owner of the Sutton Group, a political consulting service for D.C. and other areas. Sutton served as the treasurer and custodian of records in 2011 and 2012 for Michael A. Brown’s campaign for an at-large seat on D.C. Council.

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Between July 2011 and May 202, Sutton wrote 36 checks from the campaign bank to his personal bank accounts, adding up to approximately $115,250 diverted from campaign funds.

Some of the money Sutton transferred was compensation for Sutton’s role in the campaign, according to court documents. However, Sutton must now pay the IRS $18,231 for the income tax returns he failed to file in 2011 and 2012, according to the release. 

Additionally, Sutton failed to reference checks he wrote to himself in a series of reports he filed during his time as treasurer with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Officials expect Sutton to face 10 to 16 months in prison and a fine of $30,000 for federal income tax evasion and up to two years in prison for knowingly filing a false campaign finance report.

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