CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV)- Creditors and former investors with Jack Brown, Jr. finally heard him testify at a bankruptcy hearing Tuesday morning in Chattanooga.
The experts say its not likely that any of those people will get their money back.
Until now, the clients and friends of Jack Brown had not heard his side of the story.
Brown's attorney had kept him from testifying by pointing to serious health problems that have kept him hospitalized.
He finally testified for two hours by speaker phone from his hospital bed, with his attorney at his side.
At the U.S. Bankruptcy court, trustee Jerry Farinash and a roomful of creditors listened in.
JERRY FARINASH, BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE "First thing I would say is that its unlikely that anybody will get all of their money back."
The 59 year old Brown ran a tax service in Soddy-Daisy and is accused of running a Ponzi scheme over the past few years. The court says he pocketed, or lost by poor investments more than 12 million dollars.
He testified he used funds invested by some people to pay off promissory notes to others.
Bruce Majors and his wife, Patricia, say they lost more than a quarter of a million dollars.
BRUCE MAJORS, INVESTED WITH BROWN "It was money we had saved all of our ..Ever since we've been working...and we depended on it for our retirement..we now will live on fixed incomes."
Brown told the creditors and attorneys that some of the money was lost doing e-trades, especially with the market crash of the last 4 years.
JERRY FARINASH, TRUSTEE "There are about 10-million dollars in claims, that are claimed to be owed. I don't know..I don't think all of that money was lost in investments..I certainly think that money was used for other things."
The trustee says Brown turned-over his business to his son Jason Brown, when he became ill.
BRUCE MAJORS "I really don't believe Jack started ..this as a scam. I think he just got in deeper than he meant to, and things just got out of hand."
Trustee Farinash says Brown's wife, Janet...has also declared involuntary bankruptcy and her case will be heard in April.