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Former charity leader indicted

Brian J. Brown allegedly funneled $4 million from charities


The former president of Beaverton-based National Relief Charities pleaded not guilty on Monday to U.S. government allegations that he conspired to defraud the charitable organization of $4 million.

Beaverton resident Brian J. Brown was indicted before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis J. Hubel on fraud and money laundering charges. Hubel placed Brown on daytime house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service agents arrested Brown Sunday morning at Portland International Airport as he returned to the U.S. from Thailand and Japan.

Amanda Marshall, U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, announced the indictment on Monday. It states that in late 2005, when Brown stepped down as the president of National Relief Charities — a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Native Americans — he established a nonprofit company called Charity One Inc.

From 2006 through 2009, Brown allegedly induced National Relief Charities, which has offices in Beaverton and Sherman, Texas, to fund Charity One with $4 million. Brown indicated the money would be used to fund educational scholarships for Native Americans.

Instead, Brown and unnamed co-conspirators allegedly used the entire $4 million for their personal benefit. The indictment further alleges that Brown established the principal office for Charity One, Inc. in Beaverton, and National Relief Charities mailed monthly checks for $100,000 or $200,000 from its two offices, to Charity One. Brown allegedly gave National Relief Charities false financial statements showing Charity One was properly using the money.

After entering not guilty pleas, Hubel released Brown, pending trial, on conditions he surrender his passport to the federal Pretrial Services office and wear a GPS monitor.

Brown’s trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 17, before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon.

U.S. Attorney Marshall said charitable organizations deserve strong legal protection from those who would misrepresent them.

“Anyone who defrauds a charity for their own personal gain should expect to be found, caught and prosecuted. This conduct harms the charity, its donors and, most importantly, the intended recipients of the fraudulently diverted funds,” she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Uram is handling the prosecution of the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service are involved in the investigation.



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