On the heels of last night’s Discovery episode of “Alaskan Bush People,” JuneauEmpire.com reported by Emily Russo Miller that both Billy Brown, 62, and his son Joshua aka Bam, 31, have pled guilty of defrauding the state and people of Alaska. A thing called the PFD, or Permanent Fund Dividend is an entitlement of all permanent residents of the State of Alaska as a cut of the state’s oil revenue money.
The entitlement amount for the year 2015 is $2,072 per person who resides in the state for an entire calendar year from January 1 through December 31 and intends to remain a resident. It was reported that the nine members of the Brown family lived on remote Chichagof Island in Alaska as their Discovery Channel series proclaims. The stars of the reality TV show admitted to lying about their Alaska residency and absences from the state on their PFD applications from 2010 through 2013. Members of the Brown family were indicted by a Juneau grand jury for PFD fraud last year.
As per Sara Race, Division Director of the PFD, their mission is to administer the permanent fund dividend program assuring that all eligible Alaskans receive timely dividends; fraud is prosecuted; and all internal and external stakeholders are treated with respect.
As per a change of plea hearing late Wednesday afternoon in Juneau Superior Court, the patriarch and his son Joshua pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor counts of unsworn falsification in the second degree. The Browns participated via phone in Seattle while their attorneys, and the prosecution went over a proposed plea deal. Judge Philip Pallenberg has yet to accept the deal.
If the indictment proceeds, Billy Brown, his wife Amora and their seven grown children, seen in the Alaskan wilderness on “Alaskan Bush People,” professing to have been “born and raised wild,” could bring an end to the popular reality show. Although, in fall of 2014, the Juneau grand jury charged six of the nine family members with multiple felonies for the unsworn falsification and theft in connection with the PFD fraudm the show continued. Those charged were Billy, 52-year-old Amora, Joshua, 28-year-old Solomon ala Bear, 25-year-old Gabriel and 23-year-old Noah. The ones not facing conviction are Matt, Snowbird and Rain. As per this report, most of the money has been repaid and they will never be able to apply for PFD again.
Do you think Billy and Bear will spend jail time, and if so, will Discovery Channel put an end to this reality series? Please leave your comment below.