“Last Chance U” coach Jason Brown’s year has not been the best as the former football coach has been charged with eight felony counts after he was accused of stealing the identity of a lawyer, the Parsons Sun reports. Brown is facing four counts of blackmail, four counts of identity theft and two misdemeanor counts of criminal false communication.
Brown allegedly impersonated an attorney for the law office of famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran in emails sent to the Montgomery County Chronicle and Independence Daily Reporter. The emails were sent after their coverage of a fight between the Independence and Garden City football teams last season. The Parsons Sun detailed the allegations.
In October 2018, Brown allegedly sent a cease-and-desist email to the Chronicle shortly after the paper published an editorial regarding a fight between the Independence and Garden City football teams. Brown allegedly posed as an attorney in the Cochran Law Firm in California, which was founded by Johnnie Cochran.
In February, the Chronicle received another set of communications purportedly from the attorney regarding the paper’s investigation into Brown’s treatment of a German football player.
Jason Brown’s Hearing Is Scheduled for August 22
Brown’s hearing is set for August 22 at which point the Montgomery County judge will determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. When contacted by Football Scoop prior to the charges, Brown noted that he was surprised and unaware of the eventual charges.
“I’m surprised as you are, this is crazy,” Brown told Football Scoop. “I’m trying to find out what’s going on myself. I’ve not been contacted by anyone.”
Former Independence assistant coach Jake Bugg is listed as the victim for the two misdemeanor counts of false communication. The Montgomery Chronicle turned over suspicious emails to authorities, and they were traced back to IP addresses connected to Brown’s devices, per the Parsons Sun.
The Chronicle questioned the authenticity of those emails in February. The weekly newspaper turned the emails over the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for investigation.
“Whenever citizens suspect a crime has been undertaken against them, they have the right and responsibility to alert law enforcement to the situation,” said Montgomery County Chronicle publisher Andy Taylor in a statement to the Sun. “That is exactly what the Montgomery County Chronicle did…”
The charges against Brown, according to the Chronicle, allege that he initiated email communication with the newspapers by impersonating the attorney through a Yahoo! email address that had a similar domain name to the law firm’s. The emails in question were traced to IP addresses on devices belonging to Brown, the Chronicle reported.
The Former “Last Chance U” Coach Has Been Active on Social Media Promoting His New Book Hate Me Now Love Me Later
According to ESPN, Brown resigned as Independence head coach after allegedly telling a German player, “I am your new Hitler.” Brown released a statement in February noting the Montgomery Chronicle “greatly diminished my ability to successfully do my job.”
“More plainly, the Montgomery County Chronicle has greatly diminished my ability to successfully do my job, and has set this football program back significantly, and the cumulative effect of all these detrimental factors I believe clearly constitute a constructive discharge of my employment,” Brown said in part of the statement, per Football Scoop.
Brown has remained active on Twitter since the most recent allegations. The “Last Chance U” coach released a new book called Hate Me Now Love Me Later which he has been promoting. If convicted, Brown faces significant jail time as the Parsons Sun detailed.
According to Kansas law, Brown faces 7 months to 23 months in prison along with a possible fine of up to $100,000 if he is convicted. The four blackmail charges carry 11 months to 34 months in prison and also a fine of up to $100,000. On the misdemeanor counts, he could be sentenced to up to a year in jail if found guilty.
The last episode of “Last Chance U” details Brown’s resignation along with both sides of the text message incidents. Brown appeared to be back in California during his final interview on “Last Chance U.”