Thursday, August 24, 2017

Former DJP Secretary indicted for embezzlement

A Madison County grand jury indicted Linda Brune 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 accuses her of 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.



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.  A trial is set for later this month but it Ms. Brune asked for a continuance.  The two sides are currently sparring over discovery and summary judgment motions. Earlier post on civil lawsuit. 

Kingfish note: It should be pointed out that the Clarion-Ledger has  not published one letter of newsprint about the DJP lawsuit filed against Ms. Brune although it did publish her allegations against Mr. Allen at the top of the front page of the Sunday edition.   Then there is this shameful little stunt it pulled earlier this year.   


33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I get this right. She is stealing money from DJP and goes to the state auditor to investigate and audit DJP? then the "duly elected Hinds County DA" does not indict her for the same things the Madison County DA indicts her for? This should be under one of your "You can't make this up" headlines.

Anonymous said...

DJP should be shut down right not.

Anonymous said...

the worst wounds are self inflicted wounds---

Kingfish said...

Blame Melissa Patterson for some of this.

Anonymous said...

"Right not", 10:33?
Why should it be shut down? What does DJP have to do with you? It has been a good resource for the Downtown business I work for. I imagine that you do not live or work in Jackson.
I am happy for this outcome, though I feel somewhat sorry for Linda, in spite of the unnecessary anguish she has caused DJP and Mr. Allen.

Anonymous said...

They are suing her for over $40,000. Why is the indictment for $6206?

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand right.
She wasn't fired for embezzling money but was fired for showing a reporter what DJP was doing.
Something smells.

Anonymous said...


I agree with 10:33 but for some reason the property owners who fund DJP can not get a grip on the fact that Ben Allen is not the right guy to head up the organization. I don't know or do I care if Ben is guilty or not, he has placed a Black Eye on DJP and it will continue until he is gone.

Get rid of everyone there, start over with people who have knowledge and experience on revitalizing a city---this needs to be done ASAP before it is to late. Ben and the board have used this organization for personal gain. WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who hired Brune into DJP?

Anonymous said...

Who is Melissa Patterson and what does she have to do with this?

Anonymous said...

Over/under bet on when Sam Hall and the CL decide to report this, while acknowledging "Ace Investigative Reporter" Jerry Mitchell's utter failure in his previous reporting.

Whatever the line, I'm taking the over - ain't about to happen in this lifetime.

Anonymous said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!! is back. Must be out of jail already.

Anonymous said...

Wake up 2:08! 96% of the property owners voted to re authorize DJP for the next 10 years with Allen as the head. Sounds to me like they like his leadership just fine.

Ben's Da Man... said...

Whatta you expect? He orders the coolest take-out sandwich boxes in the metro for all those noon gatherings. Pickles and cookies too.

Anonymous said...


5:01, 4:45 & 6:28,

It was a great snow job---those same owners are suffering with a high vacancy rate and several buildings (Heritage, Plaza and others) have been foreclosed on in the last few years. Every block of East Capitol Street needs refurbishing. Go look at the 400 block if you want a perfect example. You people must be dumb as a stick or ken to Ben to say what a good leader he is. Proof is in the pudding. Great downtown buildings have sold for as little as $5.00 to $20.00 per square foot.

If you had a clue who I am you would know that I know what I'm talking about.

BEN'S GOT TO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So the dire situation downtown is specifically Allen's fault?

Tell us Einstein what you would do differently.

Anonymous said...

I'm 6:28. If you think my post is one of support for Ben Allen, you're even dumber than you sound.

Your Post: "If you had a clue who I am you would know that I know what I'm talking about."

Anonymous said...


TO: 8:43

The first thing I would do is fire Ben Allen !

Regards,
Einstein

Anonymous said...

And that would improve thing how, specifically?

Anonymous said...

History/Mississippi Supreme Court will declare that Melissa Patterson was right and all you Ben-lovers don't have a clue about what is legal and what is not

Anonymous said...

10:43, it would remove a convicted criminal from the position.

Anonymous said...

@11:48 - that doesn't answer the question. You don't have an answer, just as I suspected.

Anonymous said...

12:24, many people do not really want an ex-con in that position. Especially one who became a criminal from stealing from the same business.

Anonymous said...

Why remove him from the job? I have an answer. Cause he ain't done shit in ten years to improve the downtown area and that is the meat of his job description. How many high dollar annual salaries for Benjamin will this bunch of Yahoos pour down the drain in the name of hope?

PS: I hope his son will eventually quit posting in his defense.

Anonymous said...

Well run organizations do not let people steal money from it.

NOT Son of Ben said...

Cause he ain't done shit in ten years to improve the downtown area and that is the meat of his job description.

What should he have done that he didn't do? Don't be a wimp. Tell us specifically what he should have done differently.

Anonymous said...

In 10 years, Jackson will hit rock bottom! That's when gentrification will occur in the city. Let Bozos like Ben Allen and Lumumba continue to run the clown show. Downtown and west Jackson are already ripe for urban renewal (cheap real estate, low property values, underperforming school district, too many poor & low income residents, more renters than homeowners, an inefficient public transportation system, crumbling infrastructure, high unemployment and poverty rates, aging housing stock, and crime). The best thing current downtown property owners can do is dispose of their property, sell to out-of-state investors and developers. Like Jacksonians, Mississippians don't have any damn money for economic or urban development! Those authority boards are ineffective and useless!

#Welfare City, Welfare State

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it 8:43. The old woman is facing 10. Period. She will have plenty of time to vent then, like she has been doing all day here.

Anonymous said...

The old bitch needs to room with Bernie 10 = LIFE.

Anonymous said...

Is she, the thief, like 73 or 74 ?? Good Lord. Is she really that stupid?

Berger For The Prosecution.. said...

When Ben is on the stand, will the judge allow him to be referred to as 'anonymous'?

Anonymous said...

10:14 SHE hasn't been convicted of anything. HE is the convicted felon. How silly of you to pass judgment before she is found guilty of anything. As for that indictment, HE has frequently stated "you can indict a ham sandwich and a six pack." Now stop snorting that stuff and get back in your trance.

Anonymous said...

We already know Ben is a thief. He was found guilty of it.
We do not know if the woman is.

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