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'Alaskan Bush People' Plea Deal Rejected; Jail Time a Possibility

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By    |   Friday, 20 Nov 2015 08:33 AM

"Alaskan Bush People" reality stars could face jail time after a judge rejected a plea deal this week from members of the family who admitted to lying on applications in order to receive state dividend checks.

Billy Brown, 62, and his son Joshua "Bam Bam" Brown, 31, struck a deal Wednesday in which they pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each of second-degree unsworn falsification, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. The Discovery Channel reality stars previously admitted to submitting false Permanent Fund dividend applications — which would have entitled them to invested oil revenue money for living in the state continuously for at least one calendar year — between 2010 and 2013.

The deal would have meant two years' probation and 40 hours of community service for the father and son, and the dismissal of additional charges against family matriarch Amora "Ami" Brown and three other adult children, according to the Dispatch News. All members of the family would have had to pay back thousands in dividends, and none of them would be able to apply for the checks ever again.

Billy and Joshua Brown reportedly left the state in 2009 and did not return until 2012, yet filed applications to receive dividend checks and stated that they were still Alaska residents, the newspaper said.

On Thursday, Juneau Superior Court Judge Phillip Pallenberg said he did not believe the plea deal fit the crime.

"There needs to be a higher punishment to act as a deterrent," Pallenberg said, according to the Dispatch News. "If you knew you could catch everybody, maybe you wouldn't need to punish each of them as much."

The judge will likely sentence the father and son to 30 days in jail when the case resumes at the beginning of December.

The Discovery Channel show "Alaskan Bush People" follows the adventures of Billy and Ami Brown and their seven children, according to the Juneau Empire.

"[They live] so far removed from civilization that they often go six to nine months of the year without seeing an outsider," states the show's description. "They've developed their own accent and dialect, refer to themselves as a 'wolf pack,' and at night, all nine sleep together in a one-room cabin."

"Alaskan Bush People" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Discovery.

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"Alaskan Bush People" reality stars could face jail time after a judge rejected a plea deal this week from members of the family who admitted to lying on applications in order to receive state dividend checks.
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2015-33-20
Friday, 20 Nov 2015 08:33 AM
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