Judge clarifies order on finances for Wittig’s wife

? A federal judge has clarified the court’s control over the household expenses of Beth Wittig, the wife of former Westar Energy Inc. chief executive officer David Wittig, now in jail for looting the utility.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Tuesday said she’ll instruct Beth Wittig’s bank, Silver Lake Bank in Topeka, to honor any check written for less than $1,500.

For checks over that amount, the bank can reject the payment if prosecutors make a timely objection.

Robinson added that she wouldn’t condone any “structured” payments meant to get around the $1,500 cutoff.

Robinson froze the couple’s individual and joint assets after David Wittig was convicted in September of looting the Topeka-based utility and jurors ordered him to forfeit millions of dollars in assets. She continued to allow Beth Wittig to pay “ordinary and customary” monthly living expenses, giving the court a running total of her payments.

Beth Wittig asked the court to better explain its order after prosecutors told her bank to reject payment of any checks they hadn’t approved, leading to her bouncing checks, including a credit card payment for $187.75.

Robinson sent David Wittig to jail in January after determining that he had violated the terms of his release while appealing the looting conviction and an earlier bank fraud conviction. He is to be sentenced on the looting case April 3 and resentenced on the bank fraud case April 24.

Beth Wittig is scheduled to be back in court March 8 for a hearing on motions by herself and Westar over ownership of property targeted for forfeiture.