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Couple faces federal fraud, tax evasion charges

A Beaverton couple was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on charges that they defrauded U S Bank and credit card customers for more than $4.2 million.

Johnny 'Mickey' Brown and Lili Brown were charged in a 30-count indictment with wire fraud, making false statements to a federally insured bank, mail fraud, access device fraud, bank fraud and tax evasion.

For each count, maximum penalties, if convicted, call for a fine and imprisonment for between five and 30 years.

The last known address for the Browns was 19280 S.W. Gassner Road in Beaverton.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment Sept. 27 that alleges that the Browns used a Tigard Kirby vacuum sales and financing business to defraud the bank and customers.

The Browns are also charged with evading payment of more than $130,000 in federal taxes.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment alleges that Johnny Brown owes at least $130,871 in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and that Lili Brown has a prior conviction for wire fraud and previously filed a bankruptcy action in Washington as president of Granite Distributions.

The indictment also alleges that because of the legal and financial problems, the Browns opened financial accounts in the names of employees and others.

During 2001 through 2003, the Browns are alleged to have recruited more than 50 people to loan them money by letting them use the individuals' credit cards to finance their business.

The Browns allegedly promised to pay the minimum payment on the credit card charges, and pay each card holder a dividend of at least 1 percent of the outstanding balance.