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BOISE – The Idaho prison inmate who carried out elaborate con schemes from behind bars pleaded guilty Thursday to two federal counts of mail fraud under a deal that enables him to avoid trial. Mark Brown also must forfeit $60,000 in banked proceeds from his scams and surrender the cherished electric typewriter he used to carry out the financial schemes, which duped big corporations, courts and attorneys around the nation over a period of several years.
Longtime Idaho prison inmate Mark Anthony Brown had only been at the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino for five months when suspicions were aroused. In March 2012, a mail room officer mentioned to Cpl. Wesley Heckathorn, a guard at the Orofino prison and a former investigator for the U.S. Navy, that Brown seemed to be receiving “a large amount of mail that’s marked ‘legal mail.’ ”
It’s clear that Mark Brown is a smart guy, maybe even borderline brilliant. But what’s astounding is the way he apparently pulled off a major, yearslong financial fraud, taking in big corporations, courts and attorneys across the nation, all from behind bars in an Idaho prison cell.