published Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Janet Brown invokes Fifth Amendment in bankruptcy court

The wife of admitted Ponzi schemer Jack E. Brown invoked her right not to incriminate herself 61 times during a bankruptcy meeting today.

At the creditors meeting, held in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chattanooga, Janet Elaine Brown declined to answer questions about her involvement in the business she co-owned with her husband, instead invoking her Fifth Amendment rights in response to each question about the operations of Brown’s Tax Service. She also invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked about the whereabouts of tens of thousands of dollars that bank records show she handled, or about how she acquired the money.

The roughly two-dozen creditors in attendance, who consider themselves victims of a Ponzi scheme, were incredulous at what they believed to be Brown’s lies and obfuscation in response to questions from trustees.

“She’s just sitting there incriminating herself,” said Jeff Eblen, who lost money in what he thought was an investment. “Where are the criminal charges?”

Brown ran from reporters after the creditors meeting, attempting to exit out of a side door to escape the waiting cameras. She declined to answer questions posed by reporters and creditors after the meeting as she briskly circled the block with her attorney.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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