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classicalmusic

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I have a situation I cant go into detail about, but I am curious how you would the situation.

If you sold a violin to someone where there was later found to be fraud regarding part of the payment for an instrument and you are out money on the instrument. The buyer disappears with the instrument and later you discover they sold the instrument to a shop and spent the money. The shop is now a victim in the matter, but are made aware that instrument was not fully paid for and should have never been sold to them. Do they have a right to keep the instrument sold to them and resell it or should the instrument be returned to you? You also offer to compensate for the money they are out as well as a solution. 
 

What would you do?

What is the right thing for the shop to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you're asking a legal question, this is a classic problem. Different jurisdictions have come up with different theories on who gets what. This paper summarizes it well in the first couple pages: https://home.uchicago.edu/omri/pdf/articles/Buyer_In_Good_Faith.pdf. I agree with @GeorgeH. You should consult with an attorney so they can advise you on what the law is in your area and what your options are.

 

If it really is an ethical or moral question that you're asking, then you could ask 5 people and you'd likely get 5 different answers. If I owned the second shop that bought the stolen instrument, I would like to think that I would try to work something out with the first shop to lessen the sting of the fraudster for both victims, but I've never run a business so I can't say for sure. 

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5 hours ago, classicalmusic said:

I have a situation I cant go into detail about, but I am curious how you would the situation.

If you sold a violin to someone where there was later found to be fraud regarding part of the payment for an instrument and you are out money on the instrument. The buyer disappears with the instrument and later you discover they sold the instrument to a shop and spent the money. The shop is now a victim in the matter, but are made aware that instrument was not fully paid for and should have never been sold to them. Do they have a right to keep the instrument sold to them and resell it or should the instrument be returned to you? You also offer to compensate for the money they are out as well as a solution. 
 

What would you do?

What is the right thing for the shop to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

You provide too scant detail for anyone to form a definitive opinion. Are you a violin shop yourself? What exactly do you mean that you sold it? Are you in Europe or America? (makes a difference) Normally, if you sell something, it doesn’t belong to you any more.

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Im a private dealer in USA. A musician bought the violin from me, but after they received the violin, the payment was returned and turned out to be fraud. The violin was then only half paid. Violin cost more than 10k. I took person to court, won a judgment. In examination its uncovered they really have no money and so I just wanted the violin back. I then discover in court that they sold it to a shop for cheap. I contact shop and provide all information regarding situation. The shop is very understanding and feels bad and wants to work with me to make the situation right telling me they just want to be compensated the money they are out and get the instrument back to me and they didnt want anything to do with the violin in light of that knowledge.  Then they change their mind and I hear from their lawyer who says they can keep it and bought it legally from guy who defrauded me and its not their problem.

This is what Im dealing with unfortunately.

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11 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Im a private dealer in USA. A musician bought the violin from me, but after they received the violin, the payment was returned and turned out to be fraud. The violin was then only half paid. Violin cost more than 10k. I took person to court, won a judgment. In examination its uncovered they really have no money and so I just wanted the violin back. I then discover in court that they sold it to a shop for cheap. I contact shop and provide all information regarding situation. The shop is very understanding and feels bad and wants to work with me to make the situation right telling me they just want to be compensated the money they are out and get the instrument back to me and they didnt want anything to do with the violin in light of that knowledge.  Then they change their mind and I hear from their lawyer who says they can keep it and bought it legally from guy who defrauded me and its not their problem.

This is what Im dealing with unfortunately.

I think here, it would be your prerogative to sue the person you sold it too, to pay the balance of the agreed price, and the lawyers of the shop that has it now have a point. If everything is different in America, I can't know

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I'm not informed about the legal situation in USA, but to prevent such mishappening in Germany an invoice or contract needs a paragraph that the sold item is as long in the legal possession of the seller untill it is paid completely - very important as we can see here. 

Another point would be that it can't be bought "in good faith" if the buyer is aware that the price is far below the usual value.

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Violin has 20k market appraisal and 28k insurance appraisal. The shop only paid a few thousand for it. I can see it tempting for them to keep it.

i am not wanting to point fingers, but Im just disappointed because the shop was really handling this so carefully, pulled it from sale, didnt want anything to do with it, told me that even in their contract it says they cant buy or sell instruments that were stolen or money was owed too, and then abruptly changing on me involving a lawyer saying it’s their instrument.

As far as the original buyer, its a young adult who defrauded me and in reality has no money and I doubt that Ill ever see any money from it. 

Im not sure what to do at this point, but Im sure someone here has been through something similar and Im very confused about whats right, whats wrong, even if you have the right to do something, does that make it right?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Im not sure what to do at this point, but Im sure someone here has been through something similar and Im very confused about whats right, whats wrong, even if you have the right to do something, does that make it right?

 

As you were advised before, you need to talk to a lawyer. Any opinion here, wether more or less informed, won't help you much, nor ethical judgements depending of personal pov.

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This exact thing happened to me.  I ended up being the dealer that bought the violin that was half paid for. (Totally different people involved) The original seller reached out to me and told me the situation. I offered to pay the difference but In the end I was able to buy another violin from the original seller at a great price and everyone was happy. They felt they recouped their loss and I ended up with something other than just coughing up money. Sometimes non conventional solutions present themselves

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I believe here if someone steals your car and sells it to third person, the car can get confiscated if it is found. The third person is out of money. When I was buying used car I was very aware of cases when cars imported from germany were found to be stolen.. How the OP case is evaluated depends on their local law and exact wording of their contract.

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5 minutes ago, Jwillis said:

This exact thing happened to me.  I ended up being the dealer that bought the violin that was half paid for. (Totally different people involved) The original seller reached out to me and told me the situation. I offered to pay the difference but In the end I was able to buy another violin from the original seller at a great price and everyone was happy. They felt they recouped their loss and I ended up with something other than just coughing up money. Sometimes non conventional solutions present themselves

That’s a great story. It’s nice when people can work together and make it a win win situation for everyone, build relationships, and have good will.

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5 hours ago, David Rosales said:

If you're asking a legal question, this is a classic problem. Different jurisdictions have come up with different theories on who gets what. This paper summarizes it well in the first couple pages: https://home.uchicago.edu/omri/pdf/articles/Buyer_In_Good_Faith.pdf. I agree with @GeorgeH. You should consult with an attorney so they can advise you on what the law is in your area and what your options are.

 

If it really is an ethical or moral question that you're asking, then you could ask 5 people and you'd likely get 5 different answers. If I owned the second shop that bought the stolen instrument, I would like to think that I would try to work something out with the first shop to lessen the sting of the fraudster for both victims, but I've never run a business so I can't say for sure. 

Thanks for the info David!

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Knowingly and/or deliberately passing bad checks or fraudulent payments is a criminal offense. Why don't you press criminal charges against the person who stole the violin from you? Talk to the police or DA. If criminal charges are filed, then the violin becomes evidence and I believe can be confiscated and held as evidence. 

The second violin dealer is knowingly dealing in stolen merchandise like a common fence. A visit from a detective might help to clarify their thinking.

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8 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

The information that has been provided to us thus far was that he bought the violin, but has yet to pay the full amount, not stolen it

Knowingly and/or deliberately passing bad checks or fraudulent payments is a criminal offense. In such a circumstance, one does not get to keep the fruits of their crime.

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1 minute ago, jacobsaunders said:

The information that has been provided to us thus far was that he bought the violin, but has yet to pay the full amount, not stolen it

The violin was purchased through fraudulent means. They used another person’s credit card to pay me. Later, one of the payments was frozen and I was out the money, but they had the violin at that point. I pursued a civil case to be recompensed the money and later found out it was credit card fraud.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

The second violin dealer is knowingly dealing in stolen merchandise like a common fence. A visit from a detective might help to clarify their thinking.

Also, from the paper cited by David Rosales: "Under the traditional common law rule, the original owner of the asset can
repossess it and overcome the buyer's claim. Founded on the doctrine that the thief cannot convey such title as he himself did not possess ("he who hath not cannot give"), the buyer is stripped of any rights in the asset, even if he were innocent. It also generally applies nowadays in the U.S"

A few other "non conventional solutions" come to my mind since you have such a solid case. Considering the value of the instrument it might be worth retaining an attorney to check out a few options:

  1. Whether filing a criminal complaint as noted above might raise the stakes.
  2. Is it possible to put in place a "Possessory Lien" against the instrument? If so, that will follow the instrument to any owner, and if the violin shop is aware of this it should dampen their enthusiasm for selling or keeping.
  3. Since the case is so well documented and the instrument is of a value that it may likely be insured, consider sending detailed descriptions of the instrument and legal case via registered mail to the main underwriters who insure violins so that they can rightly refuse to insure (protecting themselves against further fraud).
  4. If an attorney signifies you'd be in the clear for any of these actions, before you do any of the above, notify the shop owner via registered mail that you're prepared to do so and offer them another chance to consider settling quietly.

- Tom

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6 minutes ago, Tom_R said:

Also, from the paper cited by David Rosales: "Under the traditional common law rule, the original owner of the asset can
repossess it and overcome the buyer's claim. Founded on the doctrine that the thief cannot convey such title as he himself did not possess ("he who hath not cannot give"), the buyer is stripped of any rights in the asset, even if he were innocent. It also generally applies nowadays in the U.S"

A few other "non conventional solutions" come to my mind since you have such a solid case. Considering the value of the instrument it might be worth retaining an attorney to check out a few options:

  1. Whether filing a criminal complaint as noted above might raise the stakes.
  2. Is it possible to put in place a "Possessory Lien" against the instrument? If so, that will follow the instrument to any owner, and if the violin shop is aware of this it should dampen their enthusiasm for selling or keeping.
  3. Since the case is so well documented and the instrument is of a value that it may likely be insured, consider sending detailed descriptions of the instrument and legal case via registered mail to the main underwriters who insure violins so that they can rightly refuse to insure (protecting themselves against further fraud).
  4. If an attorney signifies you'd be in the clear for any of these actions, before you do any of the above, notify the shop owner via registered mail that you're prepared to do so and offer them another chance to consider settling quietly.

- Tom

Wow, thanks! Can you be my attorney? Lol just kidding.

I’ll look into all of this and Im talking to a attorney now about it. The violin is out West and Im in another State so it makes it a bit tricky.  

I am not out to badmouth or hurt anyone’s reputation or accuse anyone, its an unfortunate situation, but man I really got screwed in this situation now and I just hope this is made right in the end.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Wow, thanks! Can you be my attorney? Lol just kidding.

I’ll look into all of this and Im talking to a attorney now about it. The violin is out West and Im in another State so it makes it a bit tricky.  

I am not out to badmouth or hurt anyone’s reputation or accuse anyone, its an unfortunate situation, but man I really got screwed in this situation now and I just hope this is made right in the end.

 

 

 

next time ask for cash??

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3 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Wow, thanks! Can you be my attorney? Lol just kidding.

I’ll look into all of this and Im talking to a attorney now about it. The violin is out West and Im in another State so it makes it a bit tricky.  

I am not out to badmouth or hurt anyone’s reputation or accuse anyone, its an unfortunate situation, but man I really got screwed in this situation now and I just hope this is made right in the end.

 

 

 

I'm sorry you had to go through this. One grifter can cause a lot of grief! Just because you have a legal right to do something doesn't mean it's ethically or morally the right thing to do and some people, including those running businesses, don't understand the difference. Hope you come to a satisfactory resolution!

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13 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Wow, thanks! Can you be my attorney? Lol just kidding.

I’ll look into all of this and Im talking to a attorney now about it. The violin is out West and Im in another State so it makes it a bit tricky.  

I am not out to badmouth or hurt anyone’s reputation or accuse anyone, its an unfortunate situation, but man I really got screwed in this situation now and I just hope this is made right in the end.

 

 

 

@Tom_R advice is correct.  Second shop does not possess rightful title.

In such cases it is in the best interests of the second shop to work out a deal with the title owner. 

Unless I've misread you've already obtained a court judgment against the "buyer" so that establishes your rightful title.

You cannot "squeeze blood out of a stone" so any effort trying to recover from "buyer" is not only pointless but foolish, especially since you have a court judgment in hand already.

 

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