The stars of Alaskan Bush People have been coping with the loss of patriarch Billy Brown since his death on Feb. 7 after suffering from a seizure. Brown was 68 and left behind his seven children that he shared with his wife of over 40 years, Ami. His son Bear marked the first Father's Day since his death on Instagram, sharing a heartfelt tribute to his late father.
"I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Dad's day," Bear wrote "Today is not an easy day for me, this is the first Dad's day that I don't have my dad with me! I know he's watching us from heaven, I just wish he was still here, so I could see him and tell him how much I love him and I wish I could hear his voice and his laugh! I am a dad myself now, but all I can think of today is how much I miss Da! Hold tight to those you love, you never know when it's the time you'll see them! I miss you Da, Happy Dad's day! I love you more!" While Brown's family is definitely focusing on the better parts of his life since his passing, the reality television star certainly had his own demons and brushes with the law over the years.
Early Trouble With The Law
While he was growing up in Fort Worth Texas, Brown's father, mother, and sister all died in a plane crash. Following their deaths, Brown was emancipated and lost all claim to the money that they had left behind. This was part of the reason that he got into trouble with the law. While Brown is best known for living off the grid with his family in Alaska, he was also arrested for stealing a horse in 1980. His wife Ami, then a teenager, is thought to have been his accomplice. After failing to flee to the Mexican border with the stolen horse, Brown was caught and served one year of probation after pleading guilty.prevnext
Lying To The Government
Brown and other members of his family faced trouble with the law in 2014 after it was revealed that they had lied to the government from 2011 until 2013, claiming that they were living in Alaska when they weren't. Brown, Ami, and several of their children faced 60 counts of first-degree unsworn falsification and first and second-degree theft. The family had falsified records in order to continue receiving money from Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend.prevnext
Time In Jail
The Permanent Fund Dividend is awarded to Alaskan residents from investment earnings of mineral royalties. "The annual payment allows for Alaskans to share in a portion of the State minerals revenue," reads the Alaskan.gov website. After their scam was discovered, Brown and his son Bam took the fall for the rest of the family, serving 30 days in jail performing 40 hours of community service a piece in 2016. "Because of the way we live our lives and the way we often unconventionally travel, I didn't keep good track of our movements," Brown claimed to People in 2017.prevnext
Breach of Contract
Brown may be dead, but his legal troubles continue. A doctor named Robert Maughon recently sued the estate and Brown's Alaskan Wilderness Family Productions for allegedly breaching a contract. The Sun reported that a lawsuit was filed in April from Maughon, who claimed he and Billy signed a contract in January 2009 that ensure him 10 percent from Brown's books and other publications. Maughon claims that he invested $20,000 of his own money but hasn't received a cent on return.prev