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Reggie Brown asks for new trial after conviction on 33 federal charges

Motion argues insufficient evidence, errors by court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville City Council member Reggie Brown is asking a federal judge for an acquittal or new trial, following his conviction on nearly three dozen charges including conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

Brown recently went on trial along with former City Council member Katrina Brown on charges connected to government loans and grants obtained by Katrina Brown's family's barbecue sauce business. The two defendants are not related. A jury convicted Katrina Brown on all 34 of the charges she faced and convicted Reggie Brown on 33 of the 34 charges he faced.

In a motion filed Thursday, Reggie Brown's attorney, Thomas Bell, argues the court erred in not granting his motion for judgment of acquittal made at the close of the government's case, saying there was not sufficient evidence for the jury to find Brown guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Among the evidence Bell argues was not sufficient are checks that were deposited into the bank account of one of Reggie Brown's businesses but that were not endorsed with his signature.

COURT DOCUMENT: Reggie Brown’s motion for judgment of acquittal or new trial

The motion also argues that the court erred in restricting the cross-examination of witnesses from BizCapital, the Small Business Administration-backed lender that loaned money to the sauce business, regarding specifics of the SBA's demand that the lender repay approximately $782,000 that the SBA had paid on the loan.

Bell also argues that the court erred in denying several motions made before the trial, as well as motions related to jury selection.

Typically, prosecutors file a response to motions by defendants before a judge issues a ruling.

Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown are currently scheduled to have a sentencing hearing Jan. 27, 2020.