SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana continues to expose the unbelievable rap sheets of City of South Bend grant awardees. While the city’s stated purpose was to hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to local organizations to help stop violent crime, RNM has uncovered tens of thousands of dollars went into the pockets of actual violent criminals. The latest example is Gregory D. Brown.
Brown, 58, spent more than 10 years in federal prison in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was convicted on three violent crime charges; 1) Conspiracy to commit Robbery, Use of Firearm During a Crime of Violence, Transportation of Stolen Goods 2) Obstruction by Robbery 3) Using or Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence. Those charges stemmed from a robbery in the Indianapolis area.
RNM was able to track down the docket sheet detailing the charges and convictions (those documents can be seen below). The federal clerk’s office could not find the criminal complaint containing the narrative and details of the crimes. RNM is attempting to get those narratives from federal archives and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
According to federal court records, Brown was released from federal prison in July of 2003.
The City of South Bend awarded Brown $5,000 in the form of an Alive Grant for his organization Silence the Violence. Documents outlining the program claim his organization is a mentorship for children ages 5-18. The program is to teach practical and life skills. You can see those documents below.
What may be even more astounding is, despite Brown’s violent criminal record, he works as a security guard at a local high school, the Rise Up Academy. According to his LinkedIn account, Brown is a Security Supervisor for the South Bend Community School Corporation.
RNM reached out to the SBCSC via email with the following questions:
“Does SBCSC do background checks? Is it okay for a man convicted of these crimes to be put in charge of security? Do you believe Mr. Brown is a good role model for high school aged children? Can you also provide me Mr. Brown’s official title and rate of pay?”
A school district spokesperson responded on Wednesday by saying they would look into it. RNM has received no other response as of publication.
RNM also reached out to Brown himself. Once journalist Clifton French identified himself, Brown promptly ended the conversation. You can listen to that interaction below.
RNM sent Mr. Brown a follow up text message. As of publication, we have not received a response. You can read that message below.
So far, RNM’s investigations into the Alive grant and its awardees have lead to the discovery of several potential criminal acts.
RNM discovered the city changed the name on one grant to give money to a friend of the Director of Community Initiatives, Maurice Scott. A notice of tort was just issued in that case. You can read all about that here.
RNM uncovered a disturbing scheme in which one awardee, Justice for Michiana and its founder Vernado Malone, were taking and sharing nude photographs of the recently deceased at a local funeral home. You can read that story here.
Another awardee, Wright Chosen Ministries and its founder Lori Wright, is accused of taking food stamps from homeless families and selling them to a woman in Louisiana. You can read more about that story here.
Finally, RNM discovered the city gave thousands of dollars to a convicted murderer who had been out of prison for less than a year. You can read about that here.
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The drone will be a nice tool to case the location of a possible break-in. The tools will facilitate a break in and or give the appearance that someone is there to clear a clog (plumber), build a fence or do some carpentry work. These tools would of course also be handy for purposes of B & E, breaking and entry. With the lack of oversight on these grants Mr. Brown should have listed his need for a Glock and ammunition as well.
This is the best comment I’ve seen here!
Assume you are following up on all grants as the deadline for receipt of report to the Office of Community Initiatives was 9/13/21. I, for one, would love to see how these projects actually came together and who they actually served.