Madison County grand jury indicts Linda Brune on five forgery chargesBy ANTHONY WARREN,
A Madison County grand jury has done something a Hinds County jury did not – indict Linda Brune.
Brune, a former secretary for Downtown Jackson Partners (DJP) and city employee, was recently indicted on five counts for depositing $6,000 in forged DJP checks into her personal account.
The charges were for “uttering forgery,” a felony in the state. If convicted, Brune could face between two and 10 years in prison for each count, a fine of not more than $10,000 per count, or both, according to state statute.
Brune denies the charges, saying they were trumped up after she testified against her former boss in Hinds County.
DJP Attorney Robert Gibbs was pleased with grand jury’s decision. “We believe the grand jury reviewed the information presented and we agree with their decision to return a true bill,” he said. “We look forward to the case working its way through the criminal justice system of Madison County.”
Gibbs hopes the indictment will spur Hinds County to reopen its investigation into Brune.
“DJP did bring this forgery/embezzlement scheme to the attention of the Jackson Police Department and Trustmark (National) Bank, right after it was discovered,” said DJP attorney Samuel Begley. “I understand the case was investigated by JPD, who in turn submitted the case to the Hinds County (district attorney) so that it could be presented to a Hinds County grand jury.”
A grand jury returned a no bill, according to Brune.
District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith couldn’t be reached for comment.
The indictment was handed down in late July. Brune was served on August 23, according to court records.
It alleges Brune deposited checks of $1,000 into her personal account “on or about” September 13 and October 1, 2010; $1,700 into her account on October 18, 2010; $1,050 on October 4, 2013: and $1,206 on March 3, 2014.
The checks were drawn down from the DJP account and made payable to Brune, according to the indictment.
The deposits were made at a Trustmark National Bank in Madison County. The exact location or locations of the bank were not listed in court records.
Madison County authorities had jurisdiction over the case, because the deposits were made in the county. Brune also was living in Madison County at the time, DJP attorneys said.
Brune said she had not seen the checks. “I don’t know what they are,” she said.
She believes the charges were filed in retaliation for her helping Smith in his case against her former boss, DJP President Ben Allen.
The complaint was filed in March 2014. However, an indictment was not handed down until July, months after Allen’s case concluded.
Brune provided evidence Smith used to bring charges against Allen, a former Jackson city councilman.
Allen was charged with 10 felony counts of embezzlement for stealing some $55,000 from DJP. Allen was acquitted on nine counts, and was given a suspended sentence.