Former hand surgeon found in contempt of court, sentenced to 180 days in jail

March 8, 2013 3:06:48 PM PST
Former hand surgeon Michael Brown is back in jail and he could be staying there for several months. The four day hearing ended Friday with Brown being escorted out of the courtroom and straight to jail.

Brown is trading in his designer suits for an orange jumpsuit. Silent and stoic, he marched to jail.

Brown's personal attorney Robert Hantman said, "It's just a tragedy that someone who built up a business for 25 years, has 400 employees, a dedicated person who works hard, makes it possible for his family to live so well, has to go through this type of situation."

A judge found Brown in contempt of court, having actively and intentionally violated his spending parameters set by a judge in March 2011 during his divorce from his wife Rachel.

"Finally he has been held accountable for his wrongful actions," said Robert Hoffman, Rachel Brown's attorney. "We've been trying to get to get to this day. It's just the beginning of what's to come still."

In 2011, Michael Brown was ordered not to destroy, conceal or transfer assets. He was to only spend money for "reasonable and necessary" living expenses, like food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical care. But court records show last year, Mr. Brown spent millions on several Miami Beach condos, yachts and exotic cars, including a Ferrari and a Bentley. If that's not enough, he charged up his American Express at high-end retail stores like Cartier, Hermes and Saks, not to mention a trip to Switzerland and stays at the Waldorf Astoria.

"Unfortunately, Dr. Brown hasn't respected any court orders and this is the only way to get his attention," Hoffman said.

As she left, Rachel brown shared no words, just tears. And with a vast estate still up for grabs, the nasty split is expected to get worse.

Mr. Brown's attorney told me he spends roughly $1 million per month on his estranged wife's living expenses.

For now, he's ordered to serve 180 days in jail for each violation. There are more than 25, but the time will be served concurrently.

Mr. Brown is due back in court for another review on March 26 at 9am.
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