Former auctioneer and appointee of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Jacob Brown, who faces a criminal trial on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 for allegedly issuing $180,000 in worthless checks to the State of Louisiana soon after Gov. Edwards appointed him to the Louisiana Auctioneer’s Licensing Board.
Long-time Sound Off Louisiana subscribers may recall that Jacob Brown (the auctioneer, not the Louisiana State Trooper in the news so much lately) was arrested on July 18, 2018. For a review and for the benefit of new subscribers, here’s WAFB’s coverage of that arrest:
The above WAFB feature certainly provides the “Joe Friday, just the facts ma’am” story, but we’d like to expand it just a bit with some background.
Gov. Edwards placed Jacob Brown on the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB) simultaneously with his removal (only 16 days after appointing him) of Louisiana’s then-only African American auctioneer from that Board, Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips. Anyone is welcome to see Rev. Phillips confront Edwards head-on about his decision to remove him from the LALB (again, only 16 days after appointing him) by CLICKING HERE.
So, out with Phillips and in with Brown, who is the son of convicted felon (and Edwin Edwards associate) Cecil Brown, who accompanied former Gov. Edwin Edwards on an extended stay in Federal Prison.
As the old saying goes, “Like father, like son.” No sooner had Brown been appointed to the LALB than did the tag-team of Edwards and his Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne, who is presently a semi-finalist to become LSU’s next President, award Brown with lucrative contracts for the sale of State surplus property. Let’s take a look at just how that worked out for us taxpayers, shall we?
|Date||Event or Circumstance|
|Early 2017||Brown fails to pay numerous private-sector consignors instead diverting their money to fulfill a requirement by the State of Louisiana that $215,000 (the estimated gross sales price per auction) be provided upfront in order to qualify to auction state surplus property.|
|April 18, 2017||State awards auction contract to Brown.|
|July 8, 2017||Auction conducted. Balance owed by Brown: $26,920.58|
|July 18, 2017||Brown issues Whitney Bank check # 2502 dated 7/18/17 for $26,920.58.|
|August 1, 2017||Brown’s check returned NSF.|
|September 9, 2017||Brown is permitted to conduct ANOTHER auction for the state! That is NOT a misprint! A FULL 39 days after obtaining knowledge of the above NSF check, Dardenne and Edwards permitted Brown to conduct another auction!|
|September 9, 2017||Auction conducted. Balance owed by Brown: $148,422.09.|
|September 21, 2017||Brown issues Whitney Bank check # 2514 dated 9/21/17 for $148,422.09. Why the state would think that check would clear given that the prior one had not been collected can only be described as utterly |
|October 13, 2017||Brown’s check returned NSF (why did it take the state almost a month to deposit the check — were they asked to “hold it” as a favor???).|
We doubt anyone questions the entries on the preceding table but, just in case anyone wants direct verification, here is a 7-minute uninterrupted video segment of Brown’s July 9, 2018 LALB hearing (which was uploaded by the LALB on October 8, 2018, a full 91 days after the hearing!!!!) wherein Division of Administration attorney Carlos Romanach provides the material we present above:
Seven-minute segment of 7/9/18 LALB administrative hearing on former LALB member and auctioneer Jacob Brown.
Now, folks, we ask our subscribers, if someone had written a hot check for $26,920.58, would you entrust them 39 days after you learned the check was hot to continue performing services for you? To our subscribers owning small businesses, if that $26,920.58 hot check had been issued to your business, would you continue doing business with the issuer?
Also, Brown allegedly stiffed East Baton Rouge Parish (EBRP) entailing not paying sales taxes on the auctions. Here’s the lawsuit EBRP officials filed in response:
For what it’s worth, the State of Louisiana filed a civil suit against Brown. The private-sector victims of Brown’s actions pretty much just had to take their lumps and settle for a pro-rated share of the lousy $10,000 bond auctioneers are required to carry as a condition of licensure in Louisiana (the state got the lion’s share of that since losses are aggregated and claims paid on a pro-rata basis).
Obviously, Edwards had little choice but to remove Brown from the LALB for stiffing the State and EBRP and his failure to tender marketable title on automobiles which Brown’s company auctioned.
We have followed Brown’s criminal proceedings and, after numerous delays, the trial is now set for this Wednesday (April 28, 2021). We commit to attend the trial and report on its outcome to our subscribers.
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