published Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Federal charges brought against Janet Brown, wife of apparent Ponzi schemer Jack Brown

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian has charged Janet Brown, wife of apparent Ponzi schemer Jack Brown, with concealing $25,000 in jewelry from the court and lying about it under oath.

Janet Brown, wife of the apparent Ponzi schemer Jack Brown, told Farinash during questioning that she had turned over all of her assets. During the April 16 creditors meeting in which she invoked the Fifth Amendment 61 times, bankruptcy trustee Jerry Farinash expressed skepticism at her claim, even showing photos of Brown wearing a diamond-encrusted earring and a necklace that Farinash he had not received.

Days later, according to a plea agreement filed Tuesday, Brown turned over a large bag of jewelry to attorney Tom Ray, which he relinquished to Farinash.

The plea agreement carries a punishment of up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years supervised release and mandatory special assessment of $100. It also binds the U.S. Attorney not to further prosecute Brown for other non-tax criminal offenses that are currently known to investigators. However, if either party violates the agreement, Killian may prosecute Brown for any crimes related to the case, and there is no statute of limitations.

Brown has agreed to turn over all remaining assets, and allow the U.S. Attorney to investigate her finances to determine that she has turned over the remainder of her wealth, which Farinash charges was acquired in the course of a Ponzi scheme.

Sentencing will be determined in U.S. District Court after it receives a pre-sentencing report from the U.S. Probation Office, and any information presented by either side.

See more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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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