Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Business Ethics Question


classicalmusic
 Share

Recommended Posts

48 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

There's theft and fraud. I would call both of those stealing. The difference is the method. Theft is stealing through force and fraud is stealing through trickery. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 51
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

So the grifter person stole a credit card from another to pay for half. Another victim. You are out a violin and legally the dealer probably will ultimately lose out too. What a scum bag. Just someone at the end of keyboard making trouble. I would spend whatever in legal fees make some of that stick to the grifter. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is your shop insured? You can claim insurance company and if anything else they have really good lawyers so they will get the violin back to prevent paying your claim if it is legally possible.

I wonder where any of several stolen and recovered Strads over last century ended?  I bet insurance companies got them back...

Another possiblity is offering to buy back the violin from the dealer/buyer for the amount they paid. Assuming they bought it very cheaply (which alone would undermine good faith) they will not lose (and risk legal trouble bad publicity) and you will get the violin back and at least reduce the loss significantly. You can claim the difference from the thief

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Hempel said:

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

I've heard it referred to a "clear title"... and I  agree... it sounds like the instrument itself does not have clear title at this point. I would not sell, or participate in a sale, of an instrument I suspected of not having clear title.

What to do about it is a different matter. While a "judgement" has been rendered concerning the last transaction, it sounds to me (what few details have been presented) that it was a judgment concerning a debt and not necessarily the property itself?

If it were me, I'd have been on the phone to my lawyer and insurance agent immediately... Maybe the OP was?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

I've heard it referred to a "clear title"... and I  agree... it sounds like the instrument itself does not have clear title at this point. I would not sell, or participate in a sale, of an instrument I suspected of not having clear title.

What to do about it is a different matter. While a "judgement" has been rendered concerning the last transaction, it sounds to me (what few details have been presented) that it was a judgment concerning a debt and not necessarily the property itself?

If it were me, I'd have been on the phone to my lawyer and insurance agent immediately... Maybe the OP was?

Yes, the judgment was for the debt so that is why the shop probably think its within its right to keepmit all of a sudden. The violin was clearly mentioned in detail in the judgment. I probably should have gone to the police right away instead of listen the fraudster and all the excuses trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Now everything is much more clear what they did to me. I discovered they did the same thing to a watch shop out east involving a Rolex watch too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

Yes, the judgment was for the debt so that is why the shop probably think its within its right to keepmit all of a sudden. The violin was clearly mentioned in detail in the judgment. I probably should have gone to the police right away instead of listen the fraudster and all the excuses trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Now everything is much more clear what they did to me. I discovered they did the same thing to a watch shop out east involving a Rolex watch too.

If the "debt" judgment describes the violin I fail to understand why the second shopkeeper thinks he has clear title.  Bottom line the shop can't legally sell an object w/o clear title as they've been put on notice by you regarding title.

What exactly was the shopkeeper's response when you proposed compensating them (presumably what they paid your "buyer" when he sold them the fiddle)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hempel said:

If the "debt" judgment describes the violin I fail to understand why the second shopkeeper thinks he has clear title.  Bottom line the shop can't legally sell an object w/o clear title as they've been put on notice by you regarding title.

What exactly was the shopkeeper's response when you proposed compensating them (presumably what they paid your "buyer" when he sold them the fiddle)?

I spoke for hours with the sales manager who was handling the situation. He informed me they did not want the violin given the circumstances and just wanted to be compensated the money they were out. That they are a professional shop who have been around many years. They said they would even be open to receiving other instruments towards compensation and could be flexible with me to compensate them. They said they pulled the violin from sale and it would be safe.

The guy who sold them the instrument who owed me money then claimed he had a buyer and wanted to compensate the shop, pay me for debt and damaged he caused, and resolve the situation. The owner of the shop claimed to have bought the old rare violin so cheap because he felt sorry for the guy. Apparently the shop owner was in communication with the guy who sold it to them, but would never call me and I always talked with the sales manager.

i the. received an email from the shop owner who expressed remorse over the situation but was hoping I was willing to work with the guy who  cheated me. I expressed I did not trust the guy I sued and wanted to compensate the shop instead to get the instrument back given the circumstances. 

After which I receive a cease & desist email letter from the lawyer asking me to never contact the shop and that the violin belongs to the shop. I have tried reaching out to the lawyer guy who doesnt seem to be aware of the entire scope of the situation, but they ignoring me. So that is where I am at now… 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, classicalmusic said:

The owner of the shop claimed to have bought the old rare violin so cheap because he felt sorry for the guy.

Is that a kind of irony? Buying stolen (or acquired by fraud) stuff for cheap can be punished as fencing (dealing knowingly with stolen goods) here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding of this matter (as a non-lawyer) is that the violin was not fully paid for by the fraudulent buyer, thus the ownership was not transferred from the original seller. The buyer sold a violin that did not belong to him to a shop, essentially making it stolen merchandise. A shop bought it for a price that should have set off alarms, but they can’t claim ownership, because it’s illegal to profit from the sale of stolen merchandise. I don’t see how the shop has any claim toward the original seller as far as reimbursement or ownership. Although they may (or may not?) have bought it in good faith, they bought something that they could not legally acquire, and ignorance does not release them from liability. Unfortunately, I think it’s on them to handle the loss, unless they sue the fraudulent buyer for damages, which appears to be a moot point.

The cease and desist letter from the shop’s lawyer sounds like a scare tactic. It seems to me that the next step would be to involve the police. If the rightful owner has proof of ownership and a court order in hand, that should give the police what they need. As I understand it, they would go to the place where the merchandise is currently kept and impound it. Then the matter could be settled in court, where the circumstances of the case could be fully laid out. That might tie the violin up for some time, but it may be the only way to resolve the issue.

The idea that the shop was taking pity by paying such a low price strikes me as odd, as it wasn’t really a favor to pay only a fraction of the value; in that arrangement, the shop stood to benefit much more from the seller’s desperation for quick cash. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Maine, USA anything involving partial payment results in a shared ownership and relegates the matter to a civil court. On the other hand if some one takes the merchandise and pays nothing then laws against theft apply and not only will the police try to recover the merchandise but possession of it becomes a crime regardless of how it was acquired.

I am aware of a case some years ago where a colleague answered an ad for a cello for sale and purchased a cello for the few hundred dollars asked. He was aware that the the instrument was worth much more than he paid, suspected it was stolen and immediately contacted the shop whose stamp was on the bridge to ask if someone was missing a cello. The owners’ insurance company then tried to have him charged with possession of stolen property despite his having saved them about $40,000. The police declined to charge him but as far as I know he never was reimbursed for the money he paid the thief. 
 

The ethics involved are another matter and in my opinion the shop which bought the instrument should be compensated for the money they paid for it but should not make a profit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, classicalmusic said:

I spoke for hours with the sales manager who was handling the situation. He informed me they did not want the violin given the circumstances and just wanted to be compensated the money they were out. That they are a professional shop who have been around many years. They said they would even be open to receiving other instruments towards compensation and could be flexible with me to compensate them. They said they pulled the violin from sale and it would be safe.

The guy who sold them the instrument who owed me money then claimed he had a buyer and wanted to compensate the shop, pay me for debt and damaged he caused, and resolve the situation. The owner of the shop claimed to have bought the old rare violin so cheap because he felt sorry for the guy. Apparently the shop owner was in communication with the guy who sold it to them, but would never call me and I always talked with the sales manager.

i the. received an email from the shop owner who expressed remorse over the situation but was hoping I was willing to work with the guy who  cheated me. I expressed I did not trust the guy I sued and wanted to compensate the shop instead to get the instrument back given the circumstances. 

After which I receive a cease & desist email letter from the lawyer asking me to never contact the shop and that the violin belongs to the shop. I have tried reaching out to the lawyer guy who doesnt seem to be aware of the entire scope of the situation, but they ignoring me. So that is where I am at now… 

If you haven't done so already, retain a good lawyer.  Your lawyer should draft a letter consisting of the elements enumerated on the following site (with appropriate changes to your or shop's location).  That letter should also include the fact that you made a good faith effort to compensate the shop for their loss, and possibily the shop's lack of due diligence ("Paying an absurdly low price for the goods").

"Theft includes obtaining property by larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses or trick."

I am not affiliated in any way with principals of the following site, nor should my citation be construed as endorsement. 

https://www.lacriminaldefenseattorney.com/legal-dictionary/f/fence/

Suffice to say this should be enough to call the shop lawyer's bluff.  But always be prepared for a bigger fight.  Since you didn't mention insurance I'm assuming you had no coverage against loss (exclusion clause) in a sale.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Hempel said:

If you haven't done so already, retain a good lawyer.  Your lawyer should draft a letter consisting of the elements enumerated on the following site (with appropriate changes to your or shop's location).  That letter should also include the fact that you made a good faith effort to compensate the shop for their loss, and possibily the shop's lack of due diligence ("Paying an absurdly low price for the goods").

"Theft includes obtaining property by larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses or trick."

I am not affiliated in any way with principals of the following site, nor should my citation be construed as endorsement. 

https://www.lacriminaldefenseattorney.com/legal-dictionary/f/fence/

Suffice to say this should be enough to call the shop lawyer's bluff.  But always be prepared for a bigger fight.  Since you didn't mention insurance I'm assuming you had no coverage against loss (exclusion clause) in a sale.  

An attorney is already looking into this for me. I appreciate all the insight and thoughts. I have been a private dealer for 15 years and never had such a situation before.

1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

It seems to me if your accepting payments of credit cards that may be stolen or not belong to the buyer, you're approach to business is part of the problem and you sort of get your just reward, as it is you probably got a fair auction level price for the violin even if that process was fraudulent

I did not receive a fair auction level price. Unfortunately I sold the instrument at a loss actually. Im out a lot of money. I bought from a shop in Germany years ago. The violin is by rare maker and special, that’s all I can say. I am now dealing with a fraud situation on the payment I did receive. I have handled credit card payments before and am fine with them and can be accommodating, but this is the first time I have had to deal with this and will never allow for it again. I hope can be made right in the end. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

UPDATE:

After so much needless drama, police involvement, and a discovery that there was no invoice or sales agreement between the fraudster and shop, and the consignment contract before the supposed sale was violated: “consignor has title free and clear of all liens, claims, and encumbrances”, the violin shop’s lawyer contacted me and said the shop would allow me to compensate the shop the money they were out to get it back. I since then compensated the shop and the violin was shipped hastily back to me without its Bois d’Harmonie tailpiece and the fine case it was in…. They included some cheap boxwood fittings and an old used case… 

Thankfully the violin was not damaged and looks very good. 

Thanks for all the advice and feedback from  before. It helped a lot!

 


 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/20/2022 at 6:18 AM, classicalmusic said:

the payment was returned and turned out to be fraud. ...The shop is very understanding and feels bad and wants to work with me to make the situation right ...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.

The violin was stolen from you ("fraud") and was fenced by the second dealer.  The violin is yours and the second dealer is just out whatever he's out.  Report it stolen and while you're there tell the cops you know exactly where it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

The violin was stolen from you ("fraud") and was fenced by the second dealer.  The violin is yours and the second dealer is just out whatever he's out.  Report it stolen and while you're there tell the cops you know exactly where it is.

you didn't read the recent comments, did you??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...