A man refusing to say what he did with money from the sale of property during divorce proceedings is urging New York's highest court to refuse to hold him in contempt.

Arguing Thursday before the Court of Appeals, Sam Reed's lawyer says Reed doesn't have to testify about any money and it's up to others to prove he's not broke.

An appeals court outline of the case says Reed sold a Brooklyn parcel in 2009 with net proceeds of $776,000, but didn't comply with a 2010 court order to deposit them, and said he no longer has the money.

Reed is invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions.

His wife's lawyer says he's deposited no money in years and shouldn't be rewarded for his defiance.