Mismanagement of a Guardianship Morphed into a Crime
November 17, 2015 § 1 Comment
Attorney Michael J. Brown mismanaged and embezzled more than $1.2 million of guardianship funds. It’s a sordid tale that you can review at this post, which includes links to several others. Brown’s conduct also attracted an indictment in Rankin County Circuit Court.
On November 12, 2015, the MSSC in Brown v. State affirmed his convictions, but reversed as to restitution:
¶61. Brown’s convictions were supported by sufficient evidence and were not against the great weight of the evidence. Ample evidence existed to show that the $550,000 in loans came out of guardianship funds, and the trial court applied the law correctly with regard to the “own use” element of the statute. Brown waived any objection to Rule 404(b) evidence being admitted at trial, and he waived any objection to the language in the jury instructions by failing to raise the issue in his post-trial motion. Regardless, both arguments are without merit. Thus, Brown’s convictions and sentence to a term of years are affirmed. However, the trial court exceeded its sentencing authority in sentencing Brown to pay $1.2 million in restitution; thus, this Court vacates the restitution portion of Brown’s sentence and remands the case for resentencing, in other words, for again determining restitution, consistent with this opinion.
Brown has already been disbarred. He leaves in his wreckage the ward, whose assets will probably never be recovered, his career, his family, and his reputation.
I doubt most of you will ever fall into such an abyss. But if you find yourself close, step back and think of how Mr. Brown’s misadventure turned out.