With the recent discussion about ethics and morals on paying a fair amount for
items purchased to resell, I thought the group would find the following article
interesting. We all read about the situation with the Antiques Roadshow appraiser George Juno whose partner cheated the descendent of George Pickett in
purchasing his estate. Juno was also implicated in that case, which they lost.
Seems his troubles are not over. The following was on the front page of the April edition of "The Civil War News" .
Baltimore Circuit Court Judge J. Norris Byrnes on March 9 denied a request by Civil War antiques dealer George W. Juno for an injunction to force the Maryland Arms Collector Association, organizer of the Baltimore Antique Arms Show, to grant him exhibitor space and credentials at their annual event schedule March 18 and 19. The Baltimore Antique Arms Show is generally acknowledged to be the premier American Civil War weapons and memorabilia event
in the country.
Juno, perhaps best known for his regular appearance as one of the Civil War experts on the "Antiques Roadshow" series detailed his long involvement with the Baltimore Arms show to the judge. He described the high profits he earned
there as his justification for seeking the injunction that would have allowed him to participate as an exhibitor.
By the time he finished testifying as the hearing's sole witness, a lot of information about Juno's personal and professional life was on the record -- including other litigation, income, and an admission of an on-camera "Roadshow"
appraisal of an associate's sword.
<A lot is snipped here but the article discusses documents and tax records intorduced to support his claim regarding how much money he made at this show>.
For 1995, for instance, the documents show the dealer had slightly over $302,000 in income. A large percentage of which can be attributed to the Baltimore show, stressed Juno.
For 1996, his reported income was about $256,000, which included the profits of
the $30,000 sale of a Bowie knife for which he paid a mere $300 at the Baltimore show.
Juno's estimated that his income for 1999 woud be around $65,000. Asked to explain such a precipitous fall in income, Juno attributed it to three main reasons: his business, American Ordnance Preservation Association was dissolved in June 1999, after it lost a verdict for $800,000 in damages brought
against it by Geroge Pickett V; divorce proceedings tht forced aJuno to attend
a lot fewer shows; and loss of his biggest single customer, the City of Harrisburg which had purchased the Pickett artifacts.
Juno said he took legal action because in his opinion it is critical to have exhibitor credentials to attend dealers' only set-up time on Friday evening. And, he said, the Baltimore event is critical to his annual earnings.
Judge Byrnes questioned Juno about the ethical practices of the American Civil
War artifacts business. Noting that he himself owns an 1832 rifle, the judge inquired whether Juno would consider it fair to pay him $150 for an item valued
at $10,000 as the rifle might be if that is what the seller asked for.
"Is that an acceptable practice in your business?" asked the judge. "Yes," Junor replied, adding "I would appriase it for $2000 and pay $1600 for it."
Juno was asked about his involvement with the "Antiques Roadshow" and the dealer was forced to admit that a sword Juno appraised during a broadcast for $35,000 was brought in by a friend of his then partner, Russ Pritchard. "We did not buy that sword" noted Juno. When asked if he felt whether it was ethical to buy something he appraised on the show, Juno replied: "Absolutely!"
The opposing lawyer then asked: "Will it hurt the integrity of the show?" and
Juno replied: "No." The attorney persisted: "How about letting someone appear
on it with a criinal conviction?" and again Juno replied: "No."
The attorney referred to what he termed "a fraudulent cannon sale. Juno admitted he and John Sexton "purchased it, yes, from Russ Pritchard." He then went on to criticize the press coverage. The news story reported a July 30, 1999 ruling by Lackawanna (Pa.) County Judge Terrence Nealon, that Russ Pritchard owed a total of $64,500 to two Civil War heritage groups that owned the cemetery cannon that Pritchard bought for $10,000 in 1993. Juno, Sexton and the two Pritchards split the profit from the cannon's sale the same day for
$27,000. Regarding the purchase of the items of General George Pickett, Juno and his partners purchased them for $87,500 and sold them two weeks later to the city of Harrisburg, Pa. for $880,000.
Juno conceded: "If Pickett had asked us what we were willing to pay, he would have received a far bigger number." George Pickett V was awared $500,000 for the fraud, plus $100,000 times "treble damages" for violating unfair trade practices in North Carolina where Pickett lives.
Juno seems to be an altogether unpleasant sort. The article goes on to describe charges in Connecticut of physical abuse toward his wife and of his filing for reduced child support payments although he built a multi-million dollar home there.
After hearing all the testimony, the judge denied the injunction. Juno approached some of the members of the Civil War show in the courtroom and told
them: "I'll miss the show. I love the show. I'm sorry it had to come down to
this." A few minues later, however, he said to a member of the press: "We go for damages now. I'm pursuing this to the fullest. It's absolutely criminal what they have done. We can prove damages."
|Location:||Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK|
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