Chad E. “J Bo” Brown, a high-ranking member of the Black Mafia Family (BMF), was arrested this week in St Louis on new charges of racketeering and bank fraud. Brown, who had previously pleaded guilty to cocaine and money-laundering charges in 2007, is accused of being part of an ongoing criminal organization that distributed large quantities of narcotics and laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Brown is one of 34 people who have been indicted, prosecuted, and pleaded guilty as part of a long-running investigation into the BMF, a notorious crime syndicate that was founded by brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory in the 1990s. The BMF operated in several states and was involved in various illegal activities, such as gambling, extortion, loan sharking, and money laundering.
How Alleged PPP Loan Fraud Got BMF J Bo Arrested on RICO Charges
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, J Bo submitted a fraudulent IRS Schedule C form to obtain a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which was intended to help struggling businesses and employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Brown allegedly claimed that he had a legitimate business with $1.5 million in gross receipts, but in reality, he had no such business and used the loan money for personal expenses.
Brown also allegedly called himself the “Junior Boss” of the BMF, and discussed drug trafficking by the organization in multiple videos posted on various social media platforms. He was indicted on one count of bank fraud, and one count of using a false writing or document, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine each.
The arrest of Brown and his associates was the result of a joint effort by the U.S. Marshals, federal agents, and local police, who executed a series of grand jury indictments and court-approved searches. During the operation, they recovered a large quantity of fentanyl, pounds of methamphetamine, firearms, and cash.
U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said that the indictments and arrests targeted an organization that did not just limit their crimes to drug trafficking, but also took advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to fraudulently obtain thousands of dollars in loans. He added that the BMF remains active and formidable in the criminal underworld, despite the incarceration of its famed leaders, Big Meech and Southwest T.
The BMF has been the subject of media attention and public fascination for years, especially after rapper 50 Cent produced a TV series based on their rise and fall called “BMF”, which premiered on Starz in September 2021.