Alaskan Bush People will return to the Discovery Channel in May, according to a report from People. Given the multitude of both legal and health issues that the Brown family has faced in recent months, viewers have wondered if Alaskan Bush People would return. We now know that it will and are eager to see how Discovery deals with the family’s ongoing struggles.
This portion of the statement from the Discovery Channel implies that Season 4 of Alaskan Bush People will pick up with patriarch Billy Brown’s return from medical treatment.
“However, a dark cloud is casting a shadow over what should be a happy homecoming to the freedom of the bush.”
Is the “dark cloud” from unresolved medical issues, or does it have to do with the family’s ongoing legal problems? Maybe it’s both.
In January, both Billy and Alaskan Bush People son Joshua pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 30 days in jail for lying about their residency on applications to receive annual tax revenues. In addition to jail time, both Brown men were ordered to pay fines, repay dividends received under false pretenses, and do something else that we know won’t appear on Season 4 of Alaskan Bush People. Billy and 31-year-old Joshua have to perform 40 hours of community service each, and it cannot be filmed for their reality TV show. Both 62-year-old Billy and Joshua are to report to jail on April 15.
Sixty-three-year-old Billy Brown is the patriarch of the Alaskan Bush People family and was ordered to repay nearly $8,000 in improperly received dividends, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. In addition, the 63-year-old patriarch had to pay a $10,000 fine. Billy’s son Joshua, also known to Alaskan Bush People viewers as Bam Bam, had to repay nearly $1,200 in dividends and pay a $2,000 fine. In a final blow for their fraudulent acts, they can never again file to receive the dividend.
In exchange for their guilty plea, charges against the rest of the Alaskan Bush People family were dropped. Original charges for the entire Brown family included 60 counts of first-degree unsworn falsification and first- and second-degree theft. After the plea was entered and the sentence was given, patriarch Billy Brown gave this statement to People.
“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.”
Legal woes were only the beginning of the struggles the Alaskan Bush People family has dealt with in recent months. Season 4 ended with Billy Brown telling his family and the viewers that he would have to leave their Brown Town home and venture to the city, probably Seattle, so he could receive treatment for kidney problems and seizures that were increasing in intensity and frequency.
Billy and Josh Brown are to report to jail on April 15 to begin their 30-day sentence. With an Alaskan Bush People Season 4 premiere date of May 6, it’s possible we will get an inside look at their experience there. Discovery Channel has not, however, confirmed this.
Alaskan Bush People Season 4 begins on May 6 on the Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. ET. Coincidentally, the first episode of the first season of Alaskan Bush People also aired on May 6, in the year 2014. Members of the Brown family include Billy, Ami, 52, Matt, 33, Bam Bam, Bear, 28, Gabe, 25, Noah, 23, Snowbird, 21, and Rain, 13.
[Image via Discovery Channel]