George Jones ran afoul of the law in his life, and it turns out the man in charge of his museum did the same. Kirk West, who manages the George Jones Museum in downtown Nashville, pleaded guilty to two accounts of fraud.
As punishment for his crimes, West will serve two years in prison and pay back nearly $1 million in restitution. Apparently, West inflated his own income and net worth in order to get some bank loans. He also invested in the George Jones Museum in its early stages.
The George Jones Museum opened not long ago — in April 2015, as a matter of fact. The four story property served as a shrine to all things Jones will also offering live music, food and drinks. West helped fund the museum along with George’s widow, Nancy Jones.
West forged documents to inflate his worth and procure loans on Nashville area properties in 2008 and 2010. He now has to pay back $935,000 by his next hearing in December. He also owes more than $33,000 to a Mercedes-Benz dealer in unrelated charges.
Plans for the museum pre-dated Jones’ death in 2013. West, also known as Kirk Leipzig, partnered with 66-year-old Nancy Jones to make the property a reality. If there’s any silver lining, the George Jones Museum seems to be doing quite well, other than its criminal manager. Fans can see artifacts such as the lawnmower Jones famously rode on a drunken trip to the liquor store. No word on who will step in to keep the museum going during West’s absence.