Report: Barber Sentencing Hearing Scheduled Aug. 13

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A sentencing hearing for once-prominent real estate developer Brandon Barber is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith, according a report published Friday in the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.

Barber, who pleaded guilty July 31 to three felony charges of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, has been in the Washington County Jail since June 14, 2013.

Federal prosecutors are expected to ask U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III  to hand down a jail sentence of about 20 years, according to the report.

Testimony from the federal government’s witnesses could take an hour to an entire day of the hearing on Aug. 13.

Barber’s attorney, Asa Hutchinson III of Rogers, told the ADG he will ask the court to sentence Barber to prison in Pennsylvania so he will be closer to his two children, who live in New York City.

Barber was arrested in New York by FBI agents on March 20, 2013, and faced 27 counts of various federal charges, including fraud and money laundering, all of which took place from 2005 to 2009 and were designed to defraud banks, creditors and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

He originally entered a plea of not guilty April 15, 2013, but pleaded guilty July 31 to three federal charges as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Barber has remained in jail for more than a year after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin L. Setser found he had repeatedly violated terms of his home detention, which he had been under since his initial arrest.

He has been represented by Hutchinson IIII and his father, Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Congressman Asa Hutchinson.