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The Authentic Experience

Jerry Gladstone and American Royal Arts Settle With Frank Caiazzo

In the summer of 2007, American Royal Arts sued Frank Caiazzo. The leading Beatles autograph expert, Caiazzo had given his opinion that a "Revolver" album [pictured] that ARA sold as signed by the Beatles was a forgery. It was considered a battle of good versus evil by many of us in the autograph hobby.

ARA's lawsuit against Caiazzo probably didn't work out as its president, Jerry Gladstone, had planned. It made the mainstream autograph hobby aware of galleries like his in tourist spots that cater to unwary and affluent fans, primarily selling forgeries. It caught the attention of the FBI, leading to an ongoing investigation into Gladstone, ARA, their main authenticator, Christopher Morales, and others. Victims became aware that they had been sold expensive forgeries by ARA and similar galleries. There were investigative reports on "ABC News 20/20" and "Inside Edition" over altered photos that ARA used to sell forged guitars. Caiazzo counter-sued ARA and Gladstone personally. And it ultimately led to ARA filing for a Florida bankruptcy of sorts—an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.

The legal battles between Caiazzo and Gladstone/ARA are finally over. On April 13, 2011, the judge overseeing ARA's assignment approved a settlement between the parties. And while, as usual, the terms of the settlement cannot be disclosed by the parties, you can bet it included a major six-figure payment to Caiazzo. He had no reason to settle for less and he wasn't going to. Gladstone and ARA were the ones that needed to settle, almost certainly because of concerns about what might come out in the lawsuit, especially in light of the FBI investigation.

So while I wouldn't say justice was served—how do you put a price on almost four years of pain that Caiazzo and his family didn't deserve?—that dark period is over for Frank. He can breathe a sigh of relief and go on with his life.

If anyone deserves it, Frank does.

Frank Caiazzo is a hero. He didn't cower like many would against such a wealthy and vicious opponent as Gladstone. He didn't retract his opinion that the "Revolver" was forged. Frank fought the battle for all of us, for the sake of the autograph hobby and fans and collectors everywhere. Try as Gladstone could to grind Frank into the ground, to ruin his reputation and his business...he failed. Frank didn't back down, at great personal cost.

Frank won.

We won.

I said it before and I'll say it again...

Thank You Frank Caiazzo.

 

 

 

Views: 2512

Comment by David H. Downs on May 6, 2011 at 3:27pm
thanks indeed!
Comment by Michael Kasmar-AutographPros.com on May 6, 2011 at 4:01pm

As one who pays attention to the autograph market when it comes to music autographs and memorabilia, I can say over the past few months there have seemed to appear a lot more Frank Caiazzo authenticated items so I believe this appears to have solidified his expertise in the hobby in regards to Beatles autographs.  

 

Michael Kasmar

Owner: Autograph Pros, LLC

http://www.AutographPros.com

UACC Registered Dealer #237

Accredited Better Business Bureau Member with Lifetime A+ Rating

Comment by Scott Cornish on May 6, 2011 at 4:13pm
Thank you Frank!  And thank you Steve for all you've done.
Comment by Dr. Richard Saffro on May 6, 2011 at 5:27pm
Frank and Steve........great work. The legitimate autograph community is extremely grateful for your stellar efforts.
Comment by Bobby Livingston on May 6, 2011 at 5:49pm
Thank you for fighting back Frank!
Comment by Tricia Eaton on May 7, 2011 at 9:38am
Thank you Frank and Steve! So glad to hear this positive outcome Frank deserves!
Comment by Brandon Mysinger on May 10, 2011 at 6:08am

This is awesome news.  I think it is a huge step forward to show that authentication and an authenticator's opinion is important and useful in protecting buyers and the hobby.

 

I'm so proud that Frank fought back.  He is an inspiration to many of us that are fighting similar battles.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on May 10, 2011 at 9:31am

I am also glad this has ended. But keep in mind that Steve's comments about the outcome are pure speculation.

Lawsuits of this type can end with parties agreeing to drop their respective lawsuits and non disclosure clauses preclude any further discussion.

Comment by David H. Downs on May 10, 2011 at 9:39am
Franks attorney fees I'm sure were in the thousands. I don't believe he just dropped it. That would be stupid. I don't think he walked away empty handed.
Comment by Richard S. Simon on May 10, 2011 at 10:38am

I am not saying he walked away empty handed.

I am saying it is foolish to speculate.

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