Alaskan Bush People Could Soon Be Alaskan Jail People

The reality stars are in legal trouble for allegedly lying about living in Alaska
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2015 3:01 PM CST
Alaskan Bush People Could Soon Be Alaskan Jail People
"Alaskan Bush People" stars are in legal trouble for allegedly not spending too much time in Alaska.   (YouTube)

Once again reality TV proves to be less real than we've been led to believe. The stars of Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People may not be the "born and raised wild" Alaskans the show portrays them to be, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. Six members of the Brown family are in trouble with the law for allegedly lying on applications to receive the dividend checks given to Alaska residents. The six family members are reported to have lived outside Alaska—including in Texas and Colorado—between 2009 and 2012 while still applying for their dividend checks. All told, they are charged with receiving more than $20,000 by lying about their residence, according to Fox News. "They ended up spending a lot more time down south," a family lawyer tells the News. "That doesn't change the fact that these people are the real McCoy."

A judge rejected a plea deal from the family Thursday that would have kept them out of jail in exchange for community service, probation, and restitution, the News reports. He says it's impossible to catch everyone who lies on the dividend forms, so it's important to send a message with punishments. The six Brown family members called into the hearing from Seattle, for some reason. According to Fox, Discovery isn't commenting on the future of Alaskan Bush People, but it has a history of canceling shows when stars get into legal trouble. And the family is reportedly worried about how the charges reflect on their TV personas, the News reports. "They’re kind of TV stars," a family lawyer said during the Thursday hearing. "This exposure here is not good. It can’t help their show, judge." (More Discovery Channel stories.)

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