Brian Reynolds

Brian Reynolds

A Loudoun County newspaper owner and political operative has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud in a bid to secure funding for his publication and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Brian Reynolds, owner and publisher of the on-again, off-again Loudoun Tribune, entered the guilty pleas as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. Per the plea, 10 additional counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to the FBI will be dropped.

Reynolds faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the firearms count when sentenced Sept. 13. Prosecutors noted actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.

An indictment shows that Reynolds, of Leesburg, created phony advertising contracts and lied to advertisers and potential clients of the Loudoun Tribune about the financial state of his company, securing more than $500,000 in the process.

According to the U.S. District Court, Reynolds allegedly made false and fraudulent representations regarding the Loudoun Tribune's historical advertising revenues and the amount of money that Reynolds and others had invested in the company, falsely claimed that another individual had agreed to “match” the investments of certain investors, falsely claimed to at least one investor that the company lacked any debt, understated the amount of debt owed by the company to other investors and materially overstated the amount of money held by the company in its bank accounts.

The Sterling-based newspaper printed several issues but operated primarily online. It has not published new content in recent months. An "about" section at LoudounTribune.com states the company is "committed to the highest standards of fairness and integrity in [its] news coverage."

Reynolds, a convicted felon from the 1990s, also lied to the FBI in 2017 about owning guns. According to the indictment, he illegally owned at least eight guns and five boxes of ammunition.

More than 20 years ago, Reynolds was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for wire fraud and forgery charges.

Reynolds in 2015 served as a media adviser and consultant for the campaigns of Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) and former Loudoun County Chairman Scott York. Additionally, he completed design and website work for numerous other GOP candidates.

Reynolds' case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, or PSN, which prosecutors say is an evidence-based program aimed at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, various stakeholders work together to identify violent crime problems in a community and develop solutions to address them. PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Charles Dayoub, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal Division, made the announcement Monday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Burke and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell L. Carlberg are prosecuting the case.

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Related coverage:

-"Loudoun GOP officeholders ignored consultant's criminal history"

 

(11) comments

ron speakman

Paragraph two of this article explains he has cooperated with them with out saying Reynolds cooperated. Read between the lines. They are after someone??

Interested Observer I

How is this case part of Project Safe Neighborhoods? Aimed at reducing violent crimes? This is 'Wire Fraud'. 20 years ago it was 'Wire Fraud' and 'Forgery', which is why he ultimately got the posession of a firearm charge this time around. I see no 'Violent' crimes. So my question. Is this PSN group missing the mark? Does this case meet one of their objectives? There's quite a bit more violent offenders out there. Wire fraud and forgery! NOT so much.

amerigirl

Probably because he is a convicted felon of a federal crime. He knew that as a convicted felon he couldn't own firearms but he was caught with eight guns and five boxes of ammunition. Maybe they consider any firearm charge a violent offense, or maybe there is more that came out in court that we aren't aware of that he wasn't charged with.

ron speakman

There is a reason why PSN is prosecuting this case and it is not about the type of crime, the question is who are they after and why? We will see during his sentencing who they are after

romano

this will, and should, have zero impact on Chapman. Sorry guys...wishful thinking for you leftists

amerigirl

What? Why would "leftist" care? Did you hear something I didn't about how this would effect his chances? Just making up stuff huh?

Representing the Mambo

Chapman is attempting to downplay and distance himself from his friend and political advisor, Brian Reynolds, but they were up to their usual sleazy, underhanded schemes up until very recently. I am curious to see what kind of quid pro quo deal Reynolds struck and how many people in political positions will be in trouble over it.

Loudoun4Trump

dude is going back to the big house....probably for years....sad for him and his family and the crooked politicians he worked with...

LoCo Bob

My grandmother always said, You are judged by the company you keep. Why did Chapman have Reynolds working on his campaign??

LoCo Bob

My Grandmother always said you are judged by the company you keep. So why was Sheriff Chapman having Reynolds work on his campaigns??

Concerned

How about Higgins?

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