Alaskan Bush People stars Billy and Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown have paid fines totaling $12,000 following a government scam. According to Radar Online, the fines were ordered in February 2016, and Billy and Bam Bam dragged their feet as long as they possibly could. The guys paid up with just a few weeks to go before more serious legal action was taken.
“According to Alaskan court records, patriarch Billy, 62, paid his $10,000 restitution on December 17. Josh, 31, gave $2,000 to the court on the same date. They had until January 11 to pay up. Now both have fully repented on their felony falsification and theft charges, which were originally filed in 2014,” Radar Online reports.
The Alaskan Bush People scam was first reported at the beginning of 2016. Apparently, the Brown family ran away with $27,000 from the Alaskan government. The court docs indicate that Billy Brown and his family (his wife Ami, 52, second oldest son Joshua, or “Bam Bam,” Solomon, or “Bear,” 28, Gabe, 26, and youngest son Noah, 23) all lied about being residents of Alaska for the past four years.
Alaskan bush people on tonight. A don’t miss show. Do you watch them? pic.twitter.com/mJDNpsgQOg
— Ron Olson (@RonOlsonMemphis) January 11, 2017
Why did the Brown family do such a thing? Why, for money, of course! The family raked in four-figure dividend checks from the Alaskan government, according to the report.
“Billy Brown, 63, was charged with 24 counts of unsworn falsification and theft after authorities claim he lied on official government applications regarding their Alaskan residency and ran off with thousands in unearned paychecks,” reported Radar Online at the time.
The Alaskan Bush People family spent much of their time in the lower 48 states, but still collected a good amount of money from the Alaskan government. It may have taken a couple of years for officials to catch on to what the Brown’s were doing, but once they did, they filed paperwork to get their money back.
“On October 7, 2010, Billy received $5,124 on behalf of his family after lying on their applications earlier that year. In October 2011, the father of seven cashed out at $3,522. The next year, he took home $2,634. In October 2013, Billy falsely laid claims to $1,800. Over four years, four of his five sons allegedly stole $13,873 in government money the state claimed they didn’t deserve as non-citizens,” reported Radar Online back in 2016.
At first, the Alaskan Bush People were sentenced to 30 days behind bars for committing fraud. However, Billy and Bam Bam were allowed to serve their jail time at home, wearing ankle monitors.
— Uli Schaefer (@mb4uli) December 30, 2016
And, in case you’re wondering how these people still have a television show, Alaskan Bush People is beyond popular. While TLC might be quick to cancel shows like 19 Kids And Counting following an uncovered sex scandal, the Discovery Channel has decided to keep this show on the air, and fans are thrilled. Believe it or not, the show has quite the following. Fans seem less bothered that these people scammed the government for a few years and more excited to see what’s in store in the show’s upcoming episodes.
It has long been speculated that Alaskan Bush People is fake, and the show is actually scripted. Some people believe this and others don’t. Either way, the show does really well in the ratings department and likely will be on the air for a few more seasons.
Check out a sneak peek from the current season below.
Alaskan Bush People airs on the Discovery Channel on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST. Do you watch the show? What do you think of the Brown’s residency scam?
[Featured Image via The Discovery Network]