U.S. Bankruptcy Court has found bankrupt former Vitelco owner Jeffrey Prosser’s son, Adrian Prosser, in contempt of court for violating court orders prohibiting him from selling jewelry his father gave him and ordered the younger Prosser to pay $37,000 or face "further sanctions." [Adrian Prosser Contempt Order]
James P. Carroll, the court-appointed trustee for Jeffrey Prosser’s personal estate, filed for sanctions against Adrian Prosser, charging the younger Prosser directly violated a court order forbidding him to sell a $31,000, 2.43 carat diamond Kaufman de Suisse ring.
According to court documents, Jeffrey Prosser purchased the ring with company money in 2004, as his financial situation began to spiral out of control. It was around this time creditors began filing lawsuits alleging he sold preferred stock, illegally liquidating assets he had already pledged as collateral for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans.
In 2007, after Prosser entered involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, the court issued an order directing all the Prossers not to sell or dispose of any jewelry or other property purchased by Jeffrey Prosser or with company money. According to Carroll, Adrian Prosser sold the ring in 2009 for $7,000 and kept the proceeds.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald issued an order April 24 finding Adrian Prosser in contempt and directing Carroll to file a bill of fees and costs related to the contempt motion against Adrian Prosser. The court directed the trustee and the Prossers to try to reach a settlement by June 11.
According to the court order issued June 20, no settlement was reached. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath directed Adrian Prosser to pay the court appointed trustee for Jeffrey Prosser’s estate $37,772.50 in 12 monthly payments of $3,147.70.
Failure to pay "shall be punishable as a civil contempt of this Court and shall subject him to further sanctions…. until such civil contempt is purged," Walrath wrote.
The judgment is minuscule in comparison to the nearly $1 million in sanctions the court has imposed upon the senior Prossers.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court found Jeffrey Prosser in civil contempt of court in 2012 for the dissipation of a valuable wine collection and has issued two orders imposing sanctions that currently total nearly $1 million. No payment was made on the sanctions and, on May 31, the court issued a ruling putting the Prossers’ last house up as collateral to ensure they pay the past-due contempt sanctions, and threatened possible jail time if they do not cooperate with the court.
"Failure by the Prossers to comply with these terms shall be punishable as a civil contempt of this Court and shall subject the Prossers to arrest and incarceration until such civil contempt is purged," Fitzgerald wrote in the April compliance order.