based on a report from the chicago sun-times in Oct 2011 (shows u how uptodate we all are) the "fixer" of consumer complaints indicates that the ; American Memorabillia has filed bankruptcy which was a significant delay in a buyer receiving some $1800 from a sale dating back to 2008.
We learned that Susan Kieta, whose real name is Kieta Kieta (yes, you read that right), filed for bankruptcy May 31 2011 in Nevada, declaring almost $3.2 million in liabilities on assets of only $493,537. The list of creditors runs about 50 pages.
Sidney Fields noted the article in a discussion on some sales that one of the AML members was using. Thought it deserved it's own thread for tracking.
Here is the full article
in part due to the wonders of the world wide internet I stumbled across this piece from a now defunct blog. It's too bad the vent was on TPAs as it seems to tie in with financial issues that were starting to emerge in 2008 and coincide with the timetables noted here. Since I can't confirm the TPA items I simply have eliminated them and left in what appears to be relevant to this thread;
Victor Moreno’s American Memorabilia
A horror story that has been around for some time! Victor Moreno and his sidekick Susan Kieta have been holding auctions out of the Las Vegas home for a handful of years. Our files indicate numerous problems with this company over the years. From complaints to the Better Business Bureau in Las Vegas to Mr. Moreno having his membership in a major autograph organization terminated for his failure to respond to ethics complaints during March 2004. In August 2004 Susan Kieta received a delinquent letter from First Data demanding a payment of over $1,800 for default in a lease agreement for their electronic credit card machine.
American Memorabilia has had their share of problems in the past with regard to authentication as well as making payments. One autograph authenticator who worked for American Memorabilia still has outstanding invoices for non payment dating back to 2003.
Statements alleged by this article from consignors state: “it is now almost May and still no consignment check or any other compensation for lots sold in AMI’s November auction. No return communication either.”
Another consignor states: “I should not have believed they were truthful the first time around...”
And yet another consignor says: “What auction house gives their buyers 5+ months to pay. My guess is that the buyers paid long ago and the auction house kept your money.”
Another says: “I didn’t even realize they were still holding auctions.
And another: I was given the same standard answer..the winning bidder has supposedly not paid for the items...the trouble is that this was the excuse given me the time before. Shame on me..”
One disgruntled consignor writes: “..I had to actually threaten Kieta with legal action to get paid on my last consignment.....AMI is quickly getting to the point where they can’t even be taken seriously....”
One more consignor states: “For anyone considering consigning to American Memorabilia, a word of caution...count on it taking a minimum of 5-6 months to be paid for your consignments. This is a trend that has grown progressively worse...there is only one person who oversees consignment checks (her initials are “K”) and she is rarely present. She is readily accessible however, if you have a payment due....or are considering consigning something...”
Victor Moreno of American Memorabilia
Do you know the official name of the busines entity that you're dealing with in these current auctions? What's written on the checks?
Mike, methinks we have spoken on the deceptive notation already about "certifications". When they are listed it gives the impression that they already are certified not that they might be certified or have a pre-certification. You are wise to hold in abeyance a shipment until the $$ is in hand. Even then you note a "delay" on one item.
If they come back, payoff their "creditors" and withdraw the bankruptcy filing that is one thing... but if it is being used as a tactic that's entirely a different matter.
Mike, do you wait until you're paid to ship consignments?
Do you know if they are consigned or operating in the same manner you do?
I haven't noticed alot of sales but one in particular (that I posted on mantle) did sell for $477.00 plus the 20%. Although it implied it was JSA, it wasn't (and that deceptive practice is discussed above) but what is
odd is that if they are in bankruptcy filings they seem to still be running their auction sites although after the Apr one they don't have another scheduled, at the moment, until August.
Anyone hearing anything from the creditors with regards to what's going on?
No Cert #? That seems just way odd... are they actually COAs, LOA or even from JSA.
post a couple you received if you have a moment.
reminds me of the old PSA/DNA auction house coa that they use to provide which was done in the same manner and was a real problem. When they did away with it they became "pre-certs" - (same thing IMO but you don't get even a poorly written paper).
Problem with this approach is if it really is a "COA" then is it substantive at $15.00 (presuming they are even charged) then why would anyone need to pay an additional $25.00 to $50.00 more for an "upgrade". Without a picture or a cert number this "LOA" could be used for other items as well even with the description. I also wonder how much effort goes into it for $15.00.
When I checked I saw lots of "authenticity" say JSA (but not one I saw depicted a certification. Have some fun on one - put in a multi-signed item and misspell one of them enough to in essence make it a completely different person. I'd bet a $1.00 they will just copy it onto their auction house "loa".