Feds settle claim against Karen Pletz estate

The U.S. attorney’s office has settled government claims against the estate of the late Karen Pletz, returning a luxury convertible and half the $39,000 it had seized from the former medical school president.

Pletz, at one time a respected civic leader, was named last year in a 24-count federal indictment that accused her of embezzling more than $1.5 million from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, making false statements on her tax returns and engaging in money laundering.

Federal authorities seized Pletz’s 2002 Lexus and $39,337 from one of her bank accounts in October 2010.

The government’s criminal case against Pletz was dismissed shortly after she was found dead last November in the Fort Lauderdale home of a family member. A Florida medical examiner ruled her death a suicide.

In papers filed recently in federal court, Acting U.S. Attorney David Ketchmark agreed to return $19,668, or half the amount seized. The other half will go to the IRS to pay 2010 income taxes that Pletz owed. Pletz’s estate was represented by her husband, John Pletz.

The government also agreed to return the Lexus to John Pletz for $2,000.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney’s office dropped the government’s claim on Karen Pletz’s Country Club Plaza condo.