The Alaskan Bush People family has had their share of problems in the last year, and it’s left viewers wondering about the future of the show. Discovery Channel has released a statement that puts speculation to rest.
Alaskan Bush People family members Billy and Josh (aka “Bam Bam”) are facing 30 days of jail time for providing false information regarding their residency on applications for Alaska oil dividends. In addition, at the end of last season, we learned that patriarch Billy Brown is dealing with some health issues that led to the family leaving the home featured in the Discovery Channel series. Despite the struggles of the family, TV Over Mind reports that a Discovery Channel spokesman released a statement confirming that Alaskan Bush People will return for Season 5. The premiere date was not provided.
63-year-old Billy and 32-year-old Josh of Alaskan Bush People on applications for Alaska oil dividends that they lived in Alaska from 2009 to 2012. According to a report from People Magazine, they were actually living in Seattle at the time. Billy Brown made the following statement to People regarding the verdict.
“Alaska’s dividend program has specific requirements for the length of time in the state, and the reasons for being out of Alaska. Because of the way we live our lives and the way we often unconventionally travel, I didn’t keep good track of our movements. I accept full responsibility for filing for benefits without confirming that we met the requirements. We are committed to living in Alaska for the long term and we respect the state’s rules. I thought it best to settle to put this behind us.”
In January, the two pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree unsworn falsification. In addition to jail time, the two have to repay the nearly $8,000 they received in dividends, perform 40 hours of community service, and never receive dividends again. Joshua has also previously admitted applying for oil dividends with false residency information under the names of his three minor children.
In October, Alaskan Bush People mother Ami Brown and the other four children were charged with first-degree unsworn falsification and first- and second-degree theft. As part of the plea deal, those charges will be dropped.
Alaskan Bush People father Billy Brown has also struggled with some health issues over the last year. His attorney asked the judge to not sentence Billy to jail time because of his health issues, but the judge wouldn’t budge, adding that many people who are serving time have medical issues and that he feels the facilities are equipped to deal with Brown’s situation. The judge also had this to ssay about the actions of the Alaskan Bush People‘s father and son.
“It’s a crime that’s difficult to detect and prosecute, relatively easy to commit … When someone does get caught, if they’re not punished, then it makes the temptation greater for other people, and I think there needs to be a deterrent effect.”
Details of Alaskan Bush People‘s Billy Brown are not known, but it was disclosed last season that he has been dealing with seizures and that they have become progressively worse. As previously reported by Inquisitr, he has suffered from these seizures since a medical procedure in 2006 that resulted in a coma. In last year’s season finale, Billy Brown announced that treatment for his condition will require the Alaskan Bush People family to leave their home. He is receiving treatment in Seattle. Billy also vowed that the Alaskan Bush People family would return to their Alaska home. Some have speculated that the stress associated with the faily’s legal problems may have exacerbated Billy’s condition.
[Image via Discovery Channel]