The D.C. U.S. Attorney's office apparently is already probing Council Chairman Kwame Brown's 2008 campaign, an attorney with the office of campaign finance said Thursday.

OCF attorney William SanFord said federal prosecutors have met with his office and taken records regarding Brown's 08' campaign. The comment was made during a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics hearing that ended with the board formally referring to the U.S. Attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution violations made by Brown's '08 campaign, while also pushing off into the future the possibility of fines.

"The referral to the U.S. Attorney is considered the bigger of the sanctions," board of elections Chariman Togo West said after the hearing. "We think there's criminal activity here and it needs to be looked into."

The U.S. Attorney's office could not immediately comment on Thursday.

An April OCF audit and a complaint filed last month found that Brown's 2008 re-election campaign failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions and expenditures. It also found that the campaign aslso funneled more than $200,000 through a company owned by a former Brown campaign treasurer to a company owned by Brown's brother, Che.