Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

McKye to Be Represented by Public Defender in Contempt Citation Sought by the Okla. Department of Securities

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

McKye to Be Represented by Public Defender in Contempt Citation Sought by the Okla. Department of Securities

Article excerpt

A public defender will represent Brian McKye as he fights an indirect-contempt citation sought by the Oklahoma Department of Securities, which alleges that McKye violated a court order prohibiting him from accessing accounts of businesses that the agency contends McKye operated in a Ponzi scheme.

Department attorneys say McKye withdrew more than $23,000 from the accounts after Oklahoma County District Judge Noma Gurich issued a temporary restraining order freezing assets in the case on March 24. McKye said Monday that only $2,000 of that money went to him, that the remainder was used for business reasons. The agency and Special Master Stephen Moriarty have questioned McKye's actions.

McKye represented himself Monday before Gurich, as he did at a June hearing, after his attorney withdrew from the case.

McKye told Gurich that he has a high school education but was able to launch seven loan stores within a three-year period.

"I haven't deceived any of the 82 families," he said.

At Monday's hearing, Gurich instructed McKye that public defenders are not normally appointed in civil cases. However, she said that if he qualified as an indigent defendant, one could be appointed for his arraignment on the requested indirect-contempt citation. The judge also informed McKye that he could request a jury trial.

Under questioning from Gurich, McKye said he currently is unemployed and that he is living "in my Durango."

"I have literally no income," he said.

McKye said he is paying utility and other bills with two credit cards. He told the judge that he owns five acres in Jay upon which he has built a trailer-based shelter.

After a recess, Oklahoma County Public Defender Robert Ravitz was appointed to represent McKye. At Ravitz's request, the hearing on the contempt-citation arraignment postponed to Aug. 10.

Gurich said the potential penalty for contempt is up to six months' incarceration and a fine of $500.

Gurich postponed to Tuesday consideration of McKye's request to be able to operate a company called Process Mart.

McKye said that if he is allowed to run Process Mart, he might be able to work with Moriarty to pay back what he moved from the other companies. …

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