Stars of the “Alaskan Bush People” may need to seek refuge in the Alaskan bush after admitting that they stole money from everyone in the state. According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Billy Brown and his son Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown pled guilty to second-degree unsworn falsification about where they lived. They may get off with a plea deal if the judge accepts it, but what it will do to their show’s credibility is another matter.
When the reality TV stars filled out their Alaskan Permanent Fund Divisions applications in 2009 to 2012, they said they lived on Mosman Island in the southeastern part of the state. This entitled family members to receive a four-figure sum for every year they lived in the state through a program called, Permanent Fund dividend. However, according to the plea deal Billy filled out, he wrote in a signed statement, “By submitting falsified PFD applications for myself and my children, I stole $7,956 from the people of Alaska.” He also included in his statement that he and his family left Alaska in October 2009 and didn’t return until August 2012.
It is unknown whether Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg will accept the plea deal. He said, “It’s a theft from everybody, every resident of the state of Alaska,” and he said that the violators should do some jail time. If Judge Philip Pallenberg accepts the plea deal, all charges will be dropped against Billy’s wife Amora “Ami” Brown, and three of their seven children, Solomon “Bear” Brown, Gabriel “Gabe” Brown, and Noah Brown. However, Amora, Solomon, Gabriel, and Noah will each have to pay back around $3,000 in dividends and they will each have to complete 20 hours of community service.
Billy Brown will need to return approximately $7,956 and Joshua will have to pay $1,174. The judge could make things worse for this family by fining them up to $10,000 and sending them to spend one year in jail. As it is, each man may have to serve two years of probation, complete 40 hours community service, which the judge stipulated could not be a part of their show, and pay back the money they owed the state of Alaska.
This isn’t the first time that the Brown family has landed in trouble over their fake Alaskan residency. In August, six members of the Brown family, Solomon, Joshua, Noah, Matthew, Billy, and Gabriel, were in trouble with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. When they bought their hunting and fishing licenses, they claimed to be residents in the state of Alaska, but they were not. They were living in Colorado and Texas during that time and they didn’t move to Alaska until August 2012.
“Alaskan Bush People” which airs on the Discovery Channel is about “a recently discovered family that was born and raised wild.” They may have to resort to their wild ways in the bush to survive all the fines the judge could make them pay. Has this shaken your thoughts on the actuality of TV reality shows being real or do you just like to watch them for fun, knowing they are fake and there is nothing real about them? Please post your opinion in the comments section below.