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(Off topic...sorry.) Yes, the Belgian posters are wonderful. This one's a favorite of mine:
Jul 20 10 5:46 PM
Poster collector target of suits
One Commerce man's fondness for old horror movie posters has turned into a living nightmare for collectors who claim in lawsuits that they purchased thousands of dollars' worth of 1930s and 1940s movie posters from him only to find out the collectibles are fakes.
Haggard is being sued in federal court by former customers who claim the posters and lobby cards that they bought from him are counterfeits. In their response to the lawsuits, Haggard and his wife say they did not know the posters were fake. Haggard is being sued in federal court by former customers who claim the posters and lobby cards that they bought from him are counterfeits. In their response to the lawsuits, Haggard and his wife say they did not know the posters were fake. Over the past year, two people and one company - in Michigan, California and New Jersey - have sued Commerce movie poster collector Kerry Haggard and his ex-wife Tiffany Haggard for allegedly passing off reproduction posters from movies like "Frankenstein," "Dracula" and "The Black Cat" as the real thing and selling them for thousands of dollars.
Haggard filed for bankruptcy in December, which slowed the proceedings against him. However, his customers have now filed as creditors as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James D. Walker has set a hearing May 25 to determine whether Haggard's customers can pursue damages against him despite bankruptcy protections.
"Fraud is not dischargable in bankruptcy," said attorney James Carnago, who represented one of the plaintiffs until recently. "As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Haggard deserves everything he gets. He absolutely devastated that (group of collectors.)"
The Athens-Banner Herald featured Haggard in an 2008 story highlighting his extensive collection of vintage movie posters that lined the halls of his Commerce home. At that time, he had more than 100 posters in his collection, most of which he had purchased over the Internet. The customers who bought allegedly forged posters from Haggard met him over the Internet and through fellow memorabilia collectors. Haggard and his ex-wife became friends with collectors from as far away as California and Michigan, socialized with them and often traded posters with them or sold them parts of his collection.
Ronald Magid of California filed the first suit in July 2009 after finding out that the nine classic movie posters he had received from Haggard in exchange for more than $130,000 of his own movie posters and memorabilia were forgeries. Instead of being original movie posters for the 1931 versions of "Frankenstein" and "Dracula," Haggard had provided Magid with high quality prints that had been airbrushed to look authentic, according to the lawsuit.
Another collector, Jim Gresham of Michigan, filed a similar suit against Haggard, his ex-wife and a California-based art restoration expert named Jaime Mendez in August 2009. He traded, bought or bartered for about $852,000 worth of fraudulent posters, according to his suit.
Tiffany Haggard worked with Kerry Haggard to gain Gresham's trust, according to the suit. Mendez allegedly manufactured the forged posters, according to the suit.
"Through the sanding off of only the front side of nominally and lesser valued original old images of lobby cards and posters, the backing or back side of the lobby cards and movie posters were preserved and utilized for copies that would have a backing with the appearance and texture of a true original," reads Gresham's suit. "After Mendez glued the reproductions of the face of various original images to the old stock backings, the reproductions or counterfeits were airbrushed to create an aged appearance consistent with a true and authentic original."
A third plaintiff, Movietime, Inc., of New Jersey, filed suit against Tiffany Haggard in December 2009, seeking a refund for more than $160,000 the company paid the Haggards between 2007 and 2009. Of the 48 posters Movietime, Inc. purchased from Haggard, 40 have been proven to be fakes, according to the suit. They company always paid the couple through Tiffany Haggard's Pay-pal account.
"The Haggards began to sell the counterfeit posters they commissioned to the collector community, including the plaintiff, holding the works out to be authentic original movie posters and lobby cards," reads a suit filed against the Haggards by Movietime, Inc. "In furtherance of their scheme, the Haggards sought to sell the movie posters and lobby cards through various auction houses and auction Web sites, such as eBay, where an active movie poster and lobby card market exists."
Since the filing of the first suit, Mendez has testified in a Michigan courtroom that he had helped the Haggards create the counterfeit posters.
The Haggards, in their responses to the lawsuits, claim that they did not know that the posters were fake, according to court documents.
They also claim that some of the posters that Kerry Haggard sold or traded to Gresham originally came from Gresham's collection, and that their customers should have never taken their word that the posters were authentic because they knew more about posters than the Commerce couple did.
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