The Mississippi Court of Appeals served up some justice as it upheld a finding of contempt of court against disbarred attorney Michael J. Brown. JJ readers remember that is the case where Aaron Henry's grandson inherited $3.3 million upon his mother's death when he was 16 years old. Money became the root of some very serious evil as young DeMon McClinton's father, attorney, and father's girlfriend all conspired to loot his inheritance, Young DeMon be damned.
A Rankin County jury convicted former attorney Mike Brown of two counts of embezzlement. Each charge carried a maximum sentence of twenty years. Circuit Judge John Emfinger sentenced Mr. Brown to twenty years on the first count and twenty years on the second county but suspended ten years. The sentences are to run consecutively. Mr. Brown was accused of embezzling $1.2 million from the guardianship of D'Mon McClinton. The court also ordered full restitution of the $1.2 million although it is considered to be a formality. Here is the opinion. The court did such a good job in drafting the opinion and stating the facts of the cases that there is no need to rewrite it for this post. The opening paragraph says it all:
Today’s case is a prime example of how the unanticipated receipt of a substantial amount of money can result in destroyed lives, broken familial relationships, and even incarceration. Following his mother’s death in 1999, DeMon McClinton (DeMon), sixteenyears old at the time, inherited over three million dollars. The Hinds County Chancery Court appointed DeMon’s father, Thomas McClinton Jr. (McClinton), as guardian in 2000, and he hired attorney Michael J. Brown to help administer and oversee the guardianship. DeMon’s guardianship was closed in 2006, but through numerous unauthorized actions by McClinton, Brown, and other persons, that will be outlined in much greater detail later in this opinion, the bulk of DeMon’s inheritance went missing. After appointing a special master to investigate the guardianship’s finances, the chancery court found Brown, Linus Shackelford, McClinton, and Lottie Campbell in contempt for their misuse and misappropriation of guardianship funds, and it ordered them incarcerated until they repay the guardianship. These findings of contempt are at issue in this appeal. We affirm as it relates to Brown. We also affirm as it relates to the chancery court’s holding McClinton and Campbell in contempt, but reverse and remand for the chancery court to specifically address McClinton’s and Campbell’s inability to pay.The rest of the opinion is posted below.
Kingfish note: The Hinds County District Attorney has not indicted Thomas McClinton or Lottie Campbell for their roles in the theft. Mike Brown was indicted in December 2013. He still has not gone to trial although he was just served with the indictment. Keep that in mind folks. A group of people defraud the court and the estate for millions of dollars. The judge jails them and then refers the case to the District Attorney for prosecution. Where no one gets prosecuted.
Rankin-Madison District Attorney Michael Guests prosecuted Brown as he lived in Rankin County and his part of the fraud as well as an illegal loan from the estate took place in Rankin County. Mr. McClinton admitted to embezzling from the estate while under oath in the Rankin trial but has not been prosecuted in Hinds County. It must be nice. Take a couple of million dollars. Lie to the judges, defraud the court, get caught, walk the streets free.
Earlier posts. They are entertaining at times. Read 'em. The videos are particularly funny.
Hinds indicted Mike Brown in December 2013
More video from Mike Brown trial. (Video)
More courtroom porn. (Video)
Brown trial: We got a tape recorder and Brown keeps talking. (Video)
More courtroom porn. Mike Brown shows why he is in trouble. (Video) This one is really funny.
Rankin grand jury indicts Mike Brown.
Mike Brown in the Rankin County jail for another estate.
McClinton hearing today. Brown hocking stuff.
Time for a Mike Brown update.
McClinton: Mike Brown got on his knees and begged.
Mike Brown case: Pour a drink.
Court to Shack: Do not pass go.
Cars purchased. Mike Brown pays tax collector... in Rankin.
Brown in jail. Order posted.
Special master cast blame on Brown, Shack, & Thomas McClinton
Judge orders Shack to produce money or why he should not go to jail.
Browon suspended by Bar, grilled by Judge Grant.
Where is the money?
Judge Thomas sets bond for Brown at $100,000.
Judge freezes assets of Brown & Shack. Sets bond.