Brown admits she has $65K ring

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By Becky Barnes

Just weeks before her criminal case will be heard in Harrison Circuit  Court, Brenda Kay Brown was found in contempt in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Lexington.

At an Oct. 1 hearing, evidence was presented that the fair market value of items that Brown had not turned over to the court at $200,851.

Brown was advised at the hearing to turn over the engagement ring, which she had on her person, or go to jail.

During the Oct. 1 hearing, Brown admitted that she did still possess the $65,000 engagement ring given to her by her estranged husband Jim Brown, former Cynthiana mayor.

Kay Brown turned the ring over to the court. However, she continued to deny having possession of a 5-carat diamond ring that belonged to her husband and which she allegedly had turned into a ring for herself.

U.S. District Judge Alan Stout wrote in a memorandum filed Oct. 2, that the burden of proof was with Kay Brown to present evidence why she was unable to comply with the turnover order.

“The debtor categorically failed to meet her burden of proof,” Stout stated. 

He added that Brown admitted to retaining some of the property including the engagement ring.

“With respect to other property, including the 5-carat ring, the debtor testified she did not have this property and that she did not know of its location,” Stout continued. “She insinuated that the property may have been stolen, but could offer no proof to support this insinuation. The court found the debtor’s testimony on this point simply not credible. Evidence was presented that the debtor was in possession of the 5-carat ring at a point of time after [she] stated it had gone missing. The court believes [she] is still in possession of this property, including the 5-carat ring, but has simply refused to comply with the order requiring its turnover.”

She also maintained that the $35,000-plus jewelry purchased on a cruise was not in her possession.

“In light of [Kay Brown’s] continued failure to completely comply with the turnover order, [James Westenhoefer, trustee, and counsel for Richard Wehrle, conservator for James A. Brown, and Paul Brown, guardian for James A. Brown] are awarded a monetary judgment in the amount of $147,851. This figure is comprised of the following: $75,000 for the 5-carat ring; $35,351 for the jewelry purchased on the cruise; $25,500 for the value of furniture and furnishings from the Paintsville house taken and not returned; and $12,000 representing the movants attorney’s fees and costs,” stated a memorandum signed by U.S. District Judge Alan Stout.

Kay Brown filed for bankruptcy in January 2012.

In addition to the bankruptcy proceedings in U.S. District Court, Kay Brown also has court appearances scheduled in Harrison Circuit Court on criminal charges of financial exploitation of an adult (more than $300), first degree perjury and second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

 A five-day trial has been set for Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 to hear the case. She was indicted in Harrison County in  November 2012.