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Once a councilwoman, now a defendant in a fraud trial: Katrina Brown.

Jax

Jax general counsel wants forensic accounting of Councilwoman’s business

The city of Jacksonville has been frustrated in attempts to clawback almost $640,000 from the city of Jacksonville in grants and loans from the businesses of a Jacksonville City Councilwoman’s family business.

Earlier this summer, the city won a default judgement against CoWealth LLC for $222,000, related to failure to create any of the 56 jobs required, via a 2011 economic development agreement to help Councilwoman Katrina Brown and her parents start a BBQ sauce plant that was intended to be an economic development engine in Northwest Jacksonville.

However, the company is insolvent. And the city wants to know what happened to the money.

With that in mind, the city’s general counsel this week requested a trove of forensic accounting documents from CoWealth and another Brown shell company (“Basic Products, LLC”), to determine where the city’s money went. (Notable: the city has secondary position, as a $2.6M Small Business Administration loan is primary).

The city wants copies of the Councilwoman’s company’s income statements. bank account books going back three years, a year’s worth of credit card statements and cancelled checks, as well as a year’s worth of property titles and bills of sale.

But wait, there’s more.

Motor vehicle titles, such as that of the Councilwoman’s Porsche SUV, are desired. As are meeting minutes and resolutions of CoWealth members.

We caught up with Councilwoman Brown Thursday at City Hall; she said that she had no comment on the legal action, as she was focused on the hurricane.

Brown’s colleagues like her personally, so we’ve found it to be pretty useless to ask Council members questions about the attempted clawback provisions on the failed business interests of a member of the legislative body’s Finance Committee.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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