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Former charity boss indicted on fraud charges

PORTLAND — The former head of a national charity has been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges, accused of siphoning $4 million from National Relief Charities for personal benefit.

The U.S. attorney's office in Portland says Brian J. Brown of Beaverton, pleaded not guilty Monday before a federal magistrate, who released Brown pending a Dec. 17 trial. An assistant public defender was appointed to represent Brown for the day.

Federal agents arrested him Sunday as he returned to Portland from a month-long trip to Thailand and Japan.

Federal prosecutors allege Brown established a nonprofit called Charity One Inc. when he stepped down as president of National Relief Charities in 2005. They say Brown induced his former charity to fund Charity One with $4 million, which Brown said would be used to fund education scholarships for Native Americans.

The government alleges that Brown and unidentified coconspirators instead used the money for themselves.

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