Case settled. Read report on settlement here:
NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2010: Beatles autograph expert and authenticator Frank Caiazzo filed suit today against memorabilia dealer American Royal Arts Corp. and its president, Jerry Gladstone.
"Frank Caiazzo v. American Royal Arts Corp. and Jerry Gladstone" was filed Thursday morning, Sept. 23, in the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County.
According to the suit, Caiazzo seeks to recover compensatory damages, punitive damages and legal fees of no less than $500,000. The causes of action listed in the suit include: Defamation, Trade Libel, Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, and Prima Facie Tort.
Caiazzo's damages claimed in the suit revolve around a lawsuit American Royal Arts filed against him in Florida for calling a Revolver album they sold as signed by the Beatles a forgery. After almost three years, that case hasn't moved beyond a battle over jurisdiction. Last fall the Lower Court ruled that Florida was the proper venue for the case, and Caiazzo has appealed the decision.
Ironically, American Royal Arts' lawsuit against Caiazzo caught the attention of the New York Office of the FBI, which launched a criminal investigation into Jerry Gladstone and a number of his associates, including American Royal Arts' autograph suppliers and authenticators, over the suspected trafficking in forged autographs and memorabilia. The investigation is ongoing.
On August 14, 2010, American Royal Arts filed for an "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors," a Florida form of corporate dissolution similar to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in United States Bankruptcy Court. According to reported deposition testimony by American Royal Arts VP Agnes Palmer, inventory unsalable due to the FBI investigation was one of the leading reasons for the filing.
Blog Update Sept. 26: Revolver Revealed
The album above is the Revolver album purportedly signed by the Beatles that American Royal Arts sued Frank Caiazzo over for calling a Southern California forgery. Jerry Gladstone never posted the album online and it was not attached as an exhibit to the lawsuit.
We don't know anyone who has seen the Revolver album since the suit was filed. While not a trusted source, one of American Royal Arts' authenticators, Mike Frost of P.A.A.S., told us that he asked to see the Revolver album and Gladstone refused to even show it to him.
See the related story: Beatles-Signed Abbey Road Albums: What's Real? What's Fake?