HUDSON, Wis. -- St. Croix County prosecutors last week charged a Minnesota woman accused of stealing more than $42,000 worth of coins from her deceased father’s property in rural Somerset.
Willernie resident Kathy L. Green, 53, was charged Jan. 3 by summons in St. Croix County Circuit Court on one count of felony theft. Her initial court appearance is scheduled for March 12.
A criminal complaint alleges Green made off with about 194 pounds of coins, which a witness said included gold Kruggerands, silver dollars, Morgan silver dollars and Peace silver dollars that belonged to her late father and his decades-long partner.
According to a criminal complaint:
St. Croix County sheriff’s investigators got an anonymous tip in August 2019 saying Green was in possession of “a large amount of gold and silver” from her late father’s property in the town of Somerset and that she was "trying to liquidate them through alternative sources."
The coins were reportedly in a motorhome owned by her father and his partner that was kept in a Somerset pole barn.
Investigators interviewed Green’s two brothers, one of whom said he traveled with Green to meet with their father’s partner after his death in February 2019. Green’s brother Robert Moe said that while they were visiting that woman, he suspected Green had made a copy of a key to the pole barn.
The coins were later discovered missing from the motorhome.
When confronted with the allegation she had made a copy of the pole barn key and stole the coins, Moe told investigators Green “just smiled.”
Moe said he later went with Green to a Twin Cities bank and retrieved some of the coins from a safety deposit box. He later went with Green to her home, where she retrieved more coins from underneath furniture.
Moe said the coins weighed 193.6 pounds.
The deceased’s partner told investigators he hadn’t given anyone — including Green — permission to take the coins.
A family friend told investigators Green had discussed her father’s gold coins in the past. He said she described troubles settling her father’s estate and that she was planning to get gold from the pole barn.
“Kathy mentioned breaking into the pole barn just prior to a big snow storm so the tracks would get covered up,” the family friend said, according to the charging document.
Investigators interviewed Green, who said her father had given her the coins. The officers later asked Green why her father and his partner would have given her gold and silver coins out of the blue and “Kathy was unable to provide an answer.” Pressed again for why she would have been given the coins, Green “abruptly ended the interview and requested we leave her residence,” the complaint states.
The charging document states investigators estimated the value of the missing coins using only the price of silver, which, at 193 pounds, would be $42,198.