Saturday, April 20, 2019

D.A. Withdraws Brune Indictment

Former Downtown Jackson Partners employee Linda Brune no longer faces the prospect of going to prison.  Madison-Rankin Assistant District Attorney Ashley Allen withdrew the indictment for embezzlement yesterday in Madison County Circuit Court.

A Madison County grand jury indicted Linda Brune in 2017 for embezzlement from her former employer, Downtown Jackson Partners. Ms. Brune was the secretary for Executive Director Ben Allen. The five-count indictment accuses her of forging signatures on several checks that she made payable to herself out of the Downtown Jackson Partners account at Trustmark Bank.  The indictment accused her of committing the following forgeries:

*2010 check for $1,250
*2010 check for $1,000
*2010 check for $1,700
*2013 check for $1,050
*2014 check for $1,206

She deposited these checks at State Bank and Trust in Ridgeland.  Ms. Brune is a Ridgeland resident as well.

 Linda Brune is a "whistleblower" who gave star reporter Jerry Mitchell the scoop in his investigative story on the spending of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen.  She provided several boxes of DJP documents to the State Auditor and Mr. Mitchell in 2014 while she was employed as a secretary by DJP.  Mr. Allen was convicted of one count of embezzlement in February in Hinds County but Judge Winston Kidd did not sentence him to serve any time in prison. The jury acquitted Mr. Allen of nine more counts of embezzlement.  However, the Mississippi Court of Appeals threw out the verdict and ruled he was innocent.

Downtown Jackson Partners attempted to prosecute her for the alleged embezzlement in Hinds County.  However, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith refused to prosecute her and instead prosecuted Mr. Allen.  Mr. Allen was  convicted of one count of embezzlement earlier this year.  Judge Winston Kidd sentenced him to serve five years in prison but suspended the sentence and placed him on probation for two years.

 Downtown Jackson Partners sued Linda Brune on December 10, 2014 in Madison County Court for allegedly embezzling $40,439.  The lawsuit also states she was "terminated on July 25, 2014 for sharing confidential corporate information with a reporter from the Clarion-Ledger."   Ms. Brune is a resident of Madison County.

The complaint states that Ms. Brune worked as DJP's administrative assistant for several years prior to her termination.  She was allowed to "fill out" checks but did not have signature authority.  DJP alleges that she "embezzled 38 check instruments representing a total sum of $40,439" by making checks payable to herself and "forging Mr. Allen's signature on each of the checks." She would then allegedly alter the payee's name on the bank statements by "whiting out" (no racism intended)  her name and replacing it with the name of a vendor. She would then allegedly copy the altered statement so evidence of the whiteout would not appear.  The complaint charges her with several counts of fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.  DJP asked for damages and attorney's fees.  Attorney Sam Begley represents DJP.   Earlier post on civil lawsuit. 

Adjudication of the civil lawsuit was postponed until the resolution of the criminal indictment.


Anonymous said...

OK to embezzle in Madison County now, because 'in the interest of justice' you wI'll not get prosecuted? Good to know - will move my bank accounts south of County Line Monday morning. I guess I'll have to stay west of the river since I'm sure the new DA will apply equal 'justice in Rankin.

Anonymous said...

Guess you'll need to decide @9:07 where you are likely to receive the bigger screwing. The odds remain that Jackson and Hinds are by far your worst bet.

Anonymous said...

I just wonder how much attorney & court fees Linda had to pay to fight the city & state & keep out of prison?

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of JJ commentary in the initial post but nothing that tells me the reason it was dropped.

Kingfish said...

Severe health problems. Same reason Malone wasn't prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

Hell, KF. She's had serious health issues for a while - mental health, that is.

Her neighbor said...

I saw her the other day. She looked awful. Balding, lost weight, frail, OLD. I can understand dropping the charges. A trial would have finished her off.

Anonymous said...

I would like to have been a fly on the wall when they broke *that* news to DJP!

Anonymous said...

Malone is dead. Are his health issues keeping his wife out of jail? Or are grieving widows not subject to incarceration?

Kingfish said...

I meant Bennett. That was the reason he wasn't indicted, his health was so bad he wouldn't have made it to trial or prison.

Anonymous said...

12:31 MANY, MANY of us would like to have been there.

Anonymous said...

10:24 NADA, Zilch, Zero.

Anonymous said...

Is the late Bennett Malone's wife yet incarcerated or simply convicted? If she's not in jail, why not? The Malone twins sat together in the legislative halls for several decades and, along with Epps, ripped off this state together.

Justice for Embezzlers said...

KF, screw these bastards and their bad health! You do the crime you ought to be held accountable. I’ll just fake serious ass cancer if ever caught embezzling from my company.

Anonymous said...

12:11, then the dying bastars would transfer all of their health care costs to the state. Those with terminal illnesses would receive free, and by law, better health care than they are likely to have available to them on the outside.

However, I do agree they should be prosecuted. And, assuming they are found guilty, committed to home arrest.

Anonymous said...

So does she just get away with her crime? Does she have to pay any of the embezzled dollars back?

Anonymous said...

2:01. In checking records, I do not find where the civil case for over $40,000 that she stole has been closed. I suppose DJP can continue that avenue, but word is, the woman is broke as a spoke, rolled the dice, and lost.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought it odd that around 2000-2001 she sued the City of Jackson for discrimination when she was Ben Allens assistant, (she even got some money for it) then turns around a goes for work with Ben Allen at JDP? Probably nothing, but no one ever asked why he wanted her back.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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