Judge denies Wichita businessman motion for ending probation

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Judge Gwynne Birzer denied Wichita businessman Brandon Steven’s motion in a lengthy order filed in U.S. District Court last Friday.

According to court documents obtained by KSN, on April 8, 2020, after serving 10 months of probation, Steven filed the motion asking the court for early termination of his probation. He argued that his “admittedly extraordinary request was necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently engulfing the county,” according to the court filing.

He stated his businesses may be eligible for government aid which he cannot apply for due to his status as a federal probationer. Without such government assistance, Steven stated his businesses and employees will be harmed.

The filing says that Steven has paid all money due under his sentence, has performed 183 hours of his 200-hour community service obligation, has had no significant violations of probation, and has remained gainfully employed.

Judge Gwynne Birzer denied Steven’s motion for early termination of probation.

“Here, the SBA [Small Business Administration] regulation is plain in its prohibition of business owners on probation from obtaining PPP funds,” said Birzer in the court filing. “Defendant is in the same position as every other small business owner throughout the country on probation.”

Steven has currently served less than one year of his three-year probation.

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