‘Alaskan Bush People’ Stars Billy And Joshua Brown Plead Guilty To Lying On Alaska Residency Applications
Billy and Joshua Brown, stars of the Discovery Channel’s hit reality show Alaskan Bush People, reportedly pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to lying about their Alaska residency on applications for the Permanent Fund dividend.
‘Alaskan Bush People’ Stars Plead Guilty to Stealing
Billy Brown, 62, and his second-oldest son, Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown, 31, each pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree unsworn falsification, in the case that questions how long the Brown family actually lived in Alaska between 2009 and 2012.
As part of a proposed plea deal, the two Browns would serve two years on probation, pay back thousands of dollars in dividends and each complete 40 hours of community service, which the judge said cannot be filmed.
In a signed statement with the plea deal, Billy Brown revealed that he left Alaska in October 2009 and didn’t return until August 2012. Yet, on PFD applications Brown recorded that he lived on Mosman Island in Southeast Alaska.
“By submitting falsified PFD applications for myself and my children, I stole $7,956 from the people of Alaska,” Brown wrote.
Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg allegedly rejected the plea deal on Thursday, and instead opted for jail time.
“There needs to be a higher punishment to act as a deterrent,” Pallenberg said. “If you knew you could catch everybody, maybe you wouldn’t need to punish each of them as much.”
Judge Pallenberg said 30 days in jail would be appropriate for the crime, and in response Billy and Joshua have withdrew their guilty pleas.
The case against the Brown family will resume in early December.
The date of the court hearing fell one week after nearly five million people tuned into the third season premiere of Alaskan Bush People. Discovery Channel has declined to comment on the story and fate of the show.