Joel Brown
© Jerry and Tamal FloreTwo Michigan couples have been charged in a scheme to adopt nearly 30 children whom they used to acquire state funding while covering up patterns of mental and physical abuse against them.
Two Michigan couples have been charged in a scheme to adopt nearly 30 children whom they used to acquire more than $1million in state funding, while covering up patterns of mental and physical abuse against them.

Joel Brown, 54, and Tammy Brown, 53, and Jerry Flore, 58, and Tamal Flore, 56, were indicted on 36 child abuse charges Tuesday.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel brought the charges after they found evidence that they abused eight of the adopted children who have been in their care dating back to 2007.

The Flores face the most charges, with Tamal indicted on 17 and Jerry on 11, including first-degree child abuse counts that could see them imprisoned for life.

Flores
The Flores face the most charges, with Tamal indicted on 17 and Jerry on 11, including first-degree child abuse counts that could see them imprisoned for life
All four of the adoptive parents face charges ranging from conspiracy to commit child abuse and failing to report child abuse.

Nessel also accuses them of taking more than $1million from the state of Michigan tax-free by manipulating the foster and adoption care system.

The couples, who both live in the Michigan town of DeWitt, conspired to adopt the kids through Joel Brown, who once worked for Michigan Department of Health and Human Service's children's services agency.

The indictment accuses him of using 'his expertise in the field of child abuse investigations and the child protection laws to circumvent detection of the ongoing child abuse in his own home and that of the Flores.'

Both couples would regularly abuse their children and disguise it as simple punishment.

'The Brown and Flore families preyed upon dozens of children who were removed from previously abusive biological homes and subjected the children to prolonged routine and systemic mental and physical abuse under the guise of discipline,' Nessel said in a statement.

'These two families have adopted or fostered at least 30 children toward an end of immense financial gain.'

Shockingly, both couples had faced child abuse charges before but they had either been dismissed or reduced.

'These egregious allegations highlight not only a moral and legal failure of those entrusted with the children's care, but a failure in our systems to ensure children placed in custody are properly taken care of,' Nessel said.


Comment: Indeed; it's telling as to the state of the West that, from politics to healthcare, the vast majority of systems are so riddled with corruption and incompetence that, not only are these institutions struggling to function, but they're systematically harming the most vulnerable in society.


At least one of the adopted children, Shamber Brown, is defending the Flores and claims she hasn't been abused.

'It's really been crazy hearing the accusations just because, I mean, if I'm being totally frank, my mom is my best friend,' Brown, who has lived with the Flores since 2005, told News 10.

Brown said that she even married one of Joel and Tammy Brown's sons and he also is adamant that the abuse didn't happen.


Comment: That she married one of her adoptive siblings is potentially rather revealing as to the parenting abilities of the Browns.


'They were like the one safe family I feel like that, us kids, we got to be with. I mean, I married one of their sons.'

'My husband definitely supports my parents. He supports his parents — has nothing but love. Definitely agrees with everything that I'm saying that, yeah, they're being falsely accused.'

She claims the only way that her parents would punish her was to make her sit in a square in a timeout.


Comment: It's not uncommon for abusers to be selective in who they abuse.


Brown believes that her siblings may be dealing with traumas from before their adoption.

'I would say a good half of my siblings have not gotten that ample healing just because they've been through really traumatic things - whether their memory is skewed or they like to kick up chaos.'

The Browns and the Flores have until Friday to turn themselves in.