Josh Evans, the chairman on Lelands.com, said on Tuesday that not only did his company obtain the ring legally, but that Brown himself had seen the ring for sale back in 1998 and never mentioned that the ring was stolen.
"We never sell anything that has been stolen or not authenticated," Evans said to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It’s unfortunate that (Brown) has gone in this direction, but it came from a family member who turned around and sold it."
Evans would not name who the family member who gave him the ring back in 1998. Evans was adamant, however, that Brown knew the ring was his at the time and even saw it at a show.
"We advertised selling the ring at a show in the Midwest," Evans said. "I think it was in Cleveland. And Jim was going to be at the show signing autographs. He called and we talked and he said he would be there. He was very polite.
The ring was eventually sold to an individual for $33,000. That same person has now decided to put it up for sale again, and that’s how it came to Brown’s attention. Brown, for his part, is sticking to his story that the ring was stolen from him.
"I haven’t seen the ring since it was stolen from my home. I never authenticated anything or saw anything. Why would I authenticate a ring that was stolen from me? I don’t know who (Evans) and what he’s talking about.
That could very well be the case.
Brown said his wife Monique will help him look into his legal options for the case.
"I’m going to definitely do whatever action is open to me because my property was stolen and I haven’t authenticated anything," Brown said. "It’s my property so (Leland.com’s sale) should be against the law.
"My friends are calling me and thinking that I sold the ring or something. Why would I sell my championship ring?"
Evans said the auction will continue through July 25 and maintains that was his company is doing is legitimate. We’ll have to see how this plays out.