Sylvia Browne's Criminal Conviction

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


In 1992, Sylvia Celeste Brown and her second husband Kensil Dallzell Brown were accused of illegally selling securities that had not been registered with the State of California. Both were also charged with misrepresentations and grand theft, and Kensil was additionally charged with fraud. The complaint (shown below) states that (a) the Browns obtained a $20,000 investment in their gold-mining venture by misrepresenting the financial status of the company, (b) instead of using the money for operating expenses, the Browns used much of it to pay for personal and corporate indebtedness, (c) a few weeks later the Browns declared bankruptcy without telling the investor, and (d) the Browns falsely told the investor that his money would be recovered when the mining equipment was sold. In 1993, the Browns pleaded"no contest" to a felony violation of "sale of securities without permit." After paying restitution, they were sentenced. Both were ordered to serve one year on probation. Sylvia was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, and Kensil was sentenced to about 100 days in the county jail.


MUNICIPAL COURT OF CALIFORNIA
SANTA CLARA COUNTY JUDICIAL DISTRICT
SAN JOSE FACILITY

COMPLAINT FOR ARREST WARRANT(S)
FOR: SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN
KENSIL DALZELL BROWN

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,

Plaintiff

vs.

SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN (10/19/36),
Campbell, CA
KENSIL DALZELL BROWN (10/08/43)
San Jose, CA

Defendants



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C9282086

FELONY COMPLAINT
DA COURT NO:
CEN: * SB A
CEN: * KB A

FILED

May 26, 1992

The undersigned is informed and believes that:

COUNT ONE

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1, and February 24, of 1988, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code Section 25110-25540 (SALE OF SECURITY WITHOUT PERMIT) in that the said defendants did wilfully offer and sell in this state a security in an issuer transaction, to wit: INVESTMENT CONTRACT, to ROBIN AND GREG CROSS, without having first qualified said offer and sale with the Commissioner of corporations of the State of California.

* * * * *

COUNT TWO

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1, and February 24, of 1988, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code Section 25401-25540 (SALE OF SECURITIES BY MEANS OF WRITTEN OR ORAL COMMUNICATIONS CONTAINING FALSE STATEMENTS OR OMISSIONS) in that the said defendants did offer to sell and sell in this state a security in an issuer transaction, to wit: INVESTMENT CONTRACT, to ROBIN AND GREG CROSS, by means of a communication which included an untrue statement of a material fact and omitted to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements not misleading, in light of the circumstances under which they were made.

* * * * *

COUNT THREE

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1.1 198 B and June 7 I 1989, the said Defendant I KENSIL DALZE.LL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code Section 25541 (USE OF DEVICE, SCHEME, OR ARTIFICE TO DEFRAUD in that the said defendant did wilfully employ a device, scheme and artifice to defraud ROBIN AND GREG CROSS, and did wilfully engage in an act, practice and course of business which operated and would operate as a fraud and deceit upon such person in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of a security, to wit: INVESTMENT CONTRACT.

* * * * *

COUNT FOUR

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about February 24, 1988, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Penal Code Section 484-487.1 (GRAND THEFT) in that the said defendants did unlawfully take personal property, to wit: MONEY, of a value exceeding four hundred dollars ($400.00), the property of ROBIN and GREG CROSS.

It is further alleged that the offenses described in counts one through four were not discovered, within the meaning of Section 803 of the California Penal Code, until on or after June 7, 1989, when a complaint was registered with the Department of Corporations by Robin & Greg Cross. Prior to that date, no law enforcement agency had any knowledge, actual or constructive, of the defendants criminal activities with respect to the sale of securities to Robin & Greg Cross.

On or about June 7, 1989, the Crosses reported to the Department the defendants' sale of securities in a gold mining venture. The Department of Corporations initiated an investigation, and subsequently, through the use of its investigative and subpoena powers, discovered the defendants' misrepresentations, omissions and failure to qualify the offering with the Commissioner of Corporations of the State of California. The reason no law enforcement agency had any knowledge of these activities earlier was that no complaints had been received prior to June 7, 1989.

Similarly, Robin & Greg Cross had no knowledge, actual or constructive, of the defendants' criminal activities prior to June 7, 19891 because the defendants misrepresented the nature and status of the investment.

The defendants initially misrepresented to the Crosses that the gold mine was close to operation, and that their investment of $20,000 was needed to pay immediate operating expenses.

Defendants failed to inform the Crosses of their personal and corporate indebtedness, and further failed to inform them that a substantial portion of their investment would be immediately channeled into other bank accounts unrelated to the gold mine. Further, the defendants failed to inform the Crosses directly when they declared bankruptcy in April of 1988.

Even after the Crosses learned of the loss of their investment, Defendant. Kensil Brown continued to provide assurances that the investment had been a reqrettable, but ordinary business loss due to lack of capital; and that their money could be recovered through the sale of mining equipment. After repeated efforts to get their money back, the Crosses finally registered a complaint with the Department of Corporations on June 7, 1989. Only after that date, and by virtue of the Department's investigation, did the Crosses discover defendants' misrepresentations, omissions and failure to qualify the offering with the Commissioner of Corporations of the State of California.

Defendants criminal activities could not have been discovered by the Crosses earlier, because they were unsophisticated investors, who had no knowledge of the regulations regarding qualification of securities, and further, had no way of knowing that a substantial portion of their investment had been channeled into other ventures by the Browns.

* * * * *

COUNT FIVE

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1, and March 1, of 1988, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code section 25110-25540 (SALE OF SECURITY WITHOUT PERMIT) in that the said defendants did wilfully offer and sell in this state a security in an issuer transaction, to wit: INVESTMENT CONTRACT, to MARK HELLING, without having first qualified said offer and sale with the Commissioner of  Corporations of the State of California.

* * * * *

COUNT SIX

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1, and March 1, of 1989, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code Section 25401-25540 (SALE OF SECURITIES BY MEANS OF WRITTEN OR ORAL COMMUNICATIONS CONTAINING FALSE STATEMENTS OR OMISSIONS) in that the said defendants did offer to sell and sell in this state a security in an issuer transaction, to wit: INVESTMEUT CONTRACT, to MARK HELLING, by means of a communication which included an untrue statement of a material fact and omitted to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements not misleading, in light of the circumstances under which they were made.

* * * * *

COUNT SEVEN

That in the County of Santa Clara, State of California, on or about and between February 1, 1988 and June 7, 1989, the said Defendant, KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Corporations Code section 25541 (USE OF DEVICE, SCHEME, OR ARTIFICE TO DEFRAUD in that the said defendant did wilfully employ a device, scheme and artifice to defraud MARK HELLING, and did wilfully engage in an act, practice and course of business which operated and would operate as a fraud and deceit upon such person in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of a security, to wit: INVESTMENT CONTRACT.

* * * * *

COUNT EIGHT

That in the County of Santa Clara, sSate of California, on or about March 1, 1988, the said Defendants, SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN and KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, committed a felony, to wit: a violation of California Penal Code Section 484-487.1 (GRAND THEFT) in that the said defendants did unlawfully take personal property, to wit: MONEY, of a value exceeding four hundred dollars ($400.00), the property of MARK HELLING.

It is further alleged that the offenses described in counts five through eight were not discovered, within the meaning of section 803 of the California Penal Code, until on or after June 7, 1989, when a complaint was registered with the Department of Corporations by Robin & Greg Cross. Prior to that date, no law enforcement agency had any knowledge, actual or constructive, of the defendants criminal activities with respect to the sale of securities to Mark Helling.

On or about June 7, 1989, the Crosses reported to the Department the defendants' sale of securities in a gold mining venture. The Department of Corporations initiated an investigation, and subsequently, through the use of its investigative and subpoena powers, discovered the defendants' misrepresentations, omissions and failure to qualify the offering with the Commissioner of Corporations of the state of California. The reason no law enforcement agency had any knowledge of these activities earlier was that no complaints had been received prior to June 7, 1989.

Mark Helling had no knowledge, actual or constructive, of the defendants' criminal activities prior to March 25, 1990, because the defendants misrepresented the nature and status of the investment.

The defendants initially misrepresented to Helling that the gold mine was close to operation, and that his investment of $20,000 was needed to pay immediate operating expenses. Defendants failed to inform Helling of their personal and corporate indebtedness, and further failed to inform them that a substantial portion of their investment would be immediately channeled into other bank accounts unrelated to the gold mine. Further, the defendants failed to inform Helling directly when they declared bankruptcy in April of 1988.

Even after Mark Helling learned of the loss of his investment, Defendant Kensil Brown continued to provide assurances that the investment had been a regrettable, but ordinary business loss due to lack of capital, and that Helling's money could be recovered through the sale of mining equipment.

On or after March 25, 1990, the Department of Corporations contacted Helling to obtain a statement from him regarding his investment in the defendant's gold mine. Only after that date, and by virtue of the Department's investigation, did Helling discover defendants' misrepresentations, omissions and failure to qualify the offering with the Commissioner of Corporations of the state of California.

Defendants' criminal activities could not have been discovered by Helling earlier, because he was an unsophisticated investor, who had no knowledge of the regulations regarding qualification of securities, and further, had no way of knowing that a substantial portion of his investment had been channeled into other ventures by the Browns.

* * * * *

If the above-named defendant(s) is/are presently on probation in Santa Clara County, any evidence presented at a preliminary hearing in the instant case will be used not only as a basis for holding in this case but also as a circumstance for a violation probation and, at any formal hearing on that violation of probation, the People will move the transcript of the preliminary hearing into evidence as a basis for the violation.

Further, attached hereto and incorporated herein are official reports and documents of a law enforcement agency which the undersigned believes establish probable cause for the arrest of defendant SYLVIA CELESTE BROWN, for the above-listed crimes. Wherefore, A WARRANT OF ARREST IS REQUESTED therefor.

Further, attached hereto and incorporated herein are official reports and documents of a law enforcement agency which the undersigned believes establish probable cause for the arrest of defendant KENSIL DALZELL BROWN, for the above-listed crimes. Wherefore, A WARRANT OF ARREST IS REQUESTED therefor.

Complainant therefore prays that the said defendant(s) may be dealt with according to law.

I certify under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on May 19, 1992, in SANTA CLARA County, California.

________________
JODY BALDYGA

This page was posted on December 12, 2013.

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