Two warehouse lockers packed with country singer Dottie West's belongings have been seized by authorities who said West had not disclosed them when she declared bankruptcy last year.
As press photographers crowded around the huge warehouse lockers, bankruptcy trustee John McLemore ripped open boxes and held up items. They included expensive figurines, a guitar with West's name on it and porcelain objects.McLemore said the contents of the boxes will be inventoried and auctioned off. West faces legal depositions to answer questions about the storage and possible federal fraud charges, officials said.
West, 58, soared to fame as a top country singer and is noted for a 1973 Coca-Cola commercial in which she sang the jingle "Country Sunshine."
However, West's mansion home was auctioned off last year and according to her August bankruptcy petition, she is more than $1 million in debt.
McLemore, a lawyer who had been tipped by an anonymous caller that West had secretly stored the belongings, said the lockers were rented last year in the name of David E. Gauthier of Branson, Mo.
Any criminal action against the singer, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Clifford, would be dependent on a charge of bankruptcy fraud. The maximum sentence for a fraud conviction is $250,000 and a jail term of five years.