Judge orders 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' star Jon Gosselin to return $180,000
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/14/2009
Jon Gosselin has been ordered to return $180,000 of the $230,000 that his estranged wife Kate Gosselin has alleged he withdrew from one of their joint bank accounts in violation of an arbitrator's previous order that they not withdraw any funds without the other's approval.
"In response to an emergency application filed by Kate Gosselin on October 5, 2009, the Honorable Arthur R. Tilson of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas entered an Order today directing Jon Gosselin to return $180,000 in marital funds, which he removed in violation of an arbitrator's order," Kate's attorney Mark Momjian said in a media statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight.
Jon will face contempt charges if he fails to return the funds by October 26, according to Momjian.
"As difficult as this has been for me, I am pleased that the court has ruled fairly on behalf of myself and my children," said Kate in a statement obtained by ET. "Now that this matter has been ruled on, I look forward to returning to private arbitration, as we have agreed to do, to resolve any remaining issues."
Kate had alleged Jon withdrew "$230,000 of the $231,000 that we have liquid" between August 10 and September 29 during an October 5 appearance on NBC's Today show and filed an emergency petition seeking the funds return last week. It remains unclear how the judge arrived at the new $180,000 figure.
In addition, the judge also ordered Kate to provide an accounting of an additional $55,000 that she withdrew from the account, which she had previously stated she uses to pay the family's bills.
"The remaining sum of $55,000, which Ms. Gosselin used for household bills and expenses relating to the children, will be subject to further determination by the arbitrator at a later date," said Momjian.
Kate is also required to provide her accounting by October 26, according to Momjian.
Jon's attorney Mark Jay Heller subsequently released a statement that expresses hope that the "financial matters" will be "back on track" before the court-appointed deadline later this month, OK! Weekly reported.
In addition, Heller stops just short of accusing Kate of financial wrongdoing -- speculating that the $55,000 might not have been spent solely on household bills and expenses related to the children.
"Regrettably, the spirit of what I perceived to be the implied understanding that counsel for both sides would not address specifics of the financial issues in public, has, in my opinion, been compromised by Mr. Momjian (one of Kate Gosselin's attorneys), whose statement to the media today mischaracterizes the facts and fails to address, for example, that there has been no determination or proof that the $55,000 alleged to have been taken by Kate Gosselin (in violation of the Arbitrator's Order) was for family expenses, as alleged by Mr. Momjian," reads Heller's statement.
Heller also said there has yet to be a "determination concerning the hundreds of thousands of dollars" that Jon alleged Kate previously withdrew without his authorization in his own court filing late last week.
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"It may very well be determined that very substantial sums of money which Kate has failed to account for might have been misapplied and misused by Kate," reads Heller's statement.
"As of now, Jon Gosselin chooses to give Kate the benefit of doubt, but we are all anxiously awaiting her compliance with the Arbitrator's Order."