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Brown charged with new $90,000 theft from crash victim’s estate

STORY BY EILEEN KELLEY, (Week of February 9, 2012)

When Susan Holland’s nephew, Christopher, was struck and killed by a car while crossing a Vero Beach street three years ago, she assumed the settlement from the driver’s insurance company would least cover some of the emergency medical expenses incurred before he passed away.

But somewhat to her surprise, she learned from her attorney that Allstate had only paid $10,000, which didn’t even begin to cover his medical costs.

Then recently, Holland – who now lives in Quincy, Fla., but reads Vero Beach 32963 online – began wondering whether the lawyer who represented her nephew’s estate, Richard Brown, may have been holding something back. 

“I had been reading the articles about Brown since last summer and I think I was just in denial,” Susan Holland said.

Finally, she called Allstate to ask about the insurance settlement, and was told they had in fact issued a check for $100,000 to Brown. On the back of the check, say prosecutors, was the forged signature of Susan Holland’s son Beau, with whom Christopher Holland had lived in Vero.

Richard Brown, prosecutors say, had claimed yet another victim.

Just last week, two days shy of the third anniversary of her nephew's death, investigators filed more criminal charges against Brown, a disgraced and disbarred former barrier island attorney, who is currently being held in the Indian River County Jail on a $1.042 million bond as he awaits trail tentatively set for next month.