The Atlanta
Three
TIFFANY FAKES

 

THE ATLANTA THREE

THE $768,287 MISDEMEANOR

Finally. After 8 years, Jacqueline Fowler was sentenced for her part in the sale of
approximately 20 to 25 - that we are aware of - fake and fraudulently signed
Tiffany Studios lamps. Fowler was described in court documents as the recipient
of the wired payments for these lamps. After numerous delays, the end for her came on
January 13, 2014 in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division and as expected, she was adjudged GUILTY. Her ex husband, James Fowler
and the remaining defendant, Georgia licensed auctioneer Allan Baitcher had already been adjudged guilty. Baitcher paid restitution in the amount of $768,287.00 and walked out
of this mess with his hands slapped, payment of a $100.00 - that is one hundred dollars
- special assessment and three whole years of probation which can be terminated
after one year. Ouch.

While The Atlanta Three were awaiting their judgment, sale of fake and fraudulently
signed art continues. Of particular interest and for comparison is an example from the
West Coast where a different US District Court was hearing the case of a man who
decided to sell several pieces - not 20 to 25 - of fake and fraudulently signed Dale
Chihuly art glass on Ebay. Totally he took in $40,000 and his sentence was 5
months in prison, three years of supervised release which included 5 months in a
halfway house and $75,389.00 in restitution. Court costs are expensive. The US Attorney
had this to say: "This defendant was persistent and creative in his fraud that recycled
ordinary glass into costly works of art". He continued with "Fraud schemes like this one
target all artists and damage confidence in the on-line marketplace". Right on brother.
All in all, The Atlanta Three got off real easy.

With all three defendants sentenced, all of the known buyers who purchased these
fakes from The Atlanta Three now stood a chance of getting their money returned.
These lamps had been returned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation/ Department
of Justice - FBI/DOJ - from the West Coast of the US to Europe and from cities in between.
Now the FBI/DOJ needed to have the lamps evaluated before proceeding to prosecute.
They selected Ms. Arlie Sulka who is well known to decorative art collectors as the
head of Lillian Nassau LLC which is probably the oldest continuing Tiffany Studios
retail establishment in the world. She is also often seen on Antiques Roadshow as a
guest commentator and is highly respected in her field. An excellent choice by the
FBI/DOJ. After physically seeing the lamps in Atlanta, she determined all of them to be
fakes and the case was ready to go forward. The defendants were allowed to have
their expert testify but after naming one, he was never heard from again. Wonder why?
Ms. Sulka kindly agreed to return to Atlanta if more lamps were found - there were -
or if her appearance was necessary in a courtroom - it was not.

How did they almost get away with this? The first step was to get the lamps on Ebay
and in their attempts to shield themselves, they resorted to using many different Ebay
seller names and locations all over the United States. When they signed up on Ebay, they completed their fraud by using a phony name, phony address and phony telephone number.
Any and all attempts to call the listed number were answered by a recording stating this
number is not a valid number. At least the area code matched the city. Below is a sample
of just a few of the names they used which shows what simpletons they were as the
pattern was quickly and easily determined to be their signature:
CAMROHM2738 - ALANSPITTERSS - ROBMAZ56 - DAVIDHUTCH821 -
LENNRICK893 - ROFUL_43 - JAMIECOHEN961 - SUEQ404 - EDDYDANIELJ SALLOUSHA1 - CAPTNJACK210 - ARTGAL97 -
CHARSUTHERLAND - TTVANHOYN0
The use of these names, addresses and phone numbers should tell the most dense
minds that this was not going to be explained by the often used excuses:
"It was signed Tiffany so I figured it was Tiffany", "I bought it from a reputable
auction house" or "I was not aware that it was a fake".

TiffanyFakes.Com was not fooled and within hours of the lamps showing up on Ebay,
the partners were easily able to determine them to be either fakes or very suspicious
listings and they were placed on TiffanyFakes.Com the very same day as the listing
appeared. Further confirmation was made by accessing the contact information of the
seller and dialing the listed phone number which of course was not a valid phone
number. The early days of Ebay are far different now than they were in the early days.
Surely phone numbers change but when you open a new account on the 7th of the month,
place a lamp for sale on Ebay on the 8th of the month and someone calls that contact
phone number on the 9th of the month and gets the wrong number message, there is a
problem. That is all it took. Since most experts can tell a poorly made fake from the real
deal, they did not bid. This left the lamps available to the less knowledgeable buyers
and they became the bidders. Wow, I can buy a $20,000 or a $40,000 Tiffany lamp for
half the price or less then it would normally sell for. Such a deal. Reserves were set,
shills were bidding along with the real buyers and as the figures got up there, the sellers
sat back and were just waiting for the auction to close. If the lamp met the seller's
established reserve or if it did not meet their reserve, it was now time to have a phone conversation with the buyer or bidder. The hook was set and it was time to reel in the
money. The phone number of the bidders and their complete e mail addresses were
available to the sellers just as the phone number of the sellers was available to the
buyers. From Ebay's Site Map click on Find Contact Information. The second sell
was on and it was usually done on the phone. If the reserve was not met, let's make a
deal. If the high bid did not meet the reserve, the high bidder that was not a shill could
be asked to increase their bid and the seller would lower their price since "we can
sell off" Ebay which would allow the seller to save money and that made sense.
An added incentive would be the freight which is a real concern since it is costly -
a lamp usually takes two packages - with shipping, handling charges and insurance.
Another idea that the seller brings up is that the seller has other Tiffany lamps available
and if an additional lamp or lamps were to be purchased, they could not only deal
on the prices but the seller would pay the freight. Many could not resist that arguments
and several made additional purchases with some buying as many as 5 lamps.
Greed is a two way street.

Oh, by the way, we need to have the money wired to our bank in Atlanta says the
seller to the buyer. The alarms should have gone off but many persisted with their
purchase or purchases. Buyers wondered why a seller offering an address in Michigan,
Indiana or the Carolinas would want to have the money sent to Atlanta but that seemed
to have been explained to their satisfaction with the explanation that the designated
recipient of the funds, Jacqueline Fowler was liquidating her mother's estate and
she lived in Atlanta. Does that make sense? The sellers in their continuing ignorance
figured since it was "off" Ebay nobody could make a case if the money was wired,
so all was under control. The FBI/DOJ has extensive experience and was well
versed in following the money. Surprise, surprise.

When the lamps hit the front porch, the buyers hit the roof. Low or non-existent
quality, sloppy workmanship, spotty patina and first year high school shop soldering
told the tale. Since Fowler was really the only know name the buyers had, contact
was made to her. She brushed off their concerns as long as possible but finally did
offer up her partner in crime, Allan Baitcher. She extolled his virtues as a licensed
Georgia auctioneer and he continued the story by telling all who would listen that he
was not just an auctioneer but was the "head" or "lead" auctioneer at the world famous
auction house known as Red Baron in Atlanta. Those that talked to Baitcher were
told that the lamps were the real deal and Baitcher was not budging from his story.
All you had to do was enter Allan Baitcher into the Google search box and up pops
information that says he is a "World Record Auction Professional and Renown Antique
Appraisal Expert" and of course, he is a licensed Georgia auctioneer. How could
anyone argue with that statement since it was right there on Google. Never mind that he
wrote that garbage himself. The clincher is his then and probably still current e mail
address which is: [email protected] and that's all the proof anyone
should need. Go ahead and send him an e mail and ask him of his experience with fake
Tiffany lamps. The title of his web site is "Antique Appraisal". One buyer in an
attempt to get his money back arranged for Baitcher and a well know West Coast
repairer who is used by dealers, owners, collectors and museums all over the
world to repair damaged Tiffany Studios pieces. Need a patina touched up, a piece
of glass replaced, a missing piece of solder repaired, he is the man. At the buyer's
expense, the lamps were sent to the West Coast for evaluation and a phone conversation
was initiated by the buyer's attorney, the expert and Baitcher. When informed by this
world wide known and respected Tiffany expert that all of the lamps sent by this buyer
were fake, fraudulently signed and poorly constructed, Baitcher still did not budge.

Finally patience ran out for a buyer on the West Coast and contact was made with TiffanyFakes.Com when the local authorities were reluctant to get involved.
Paperwork was furnished to the FBI there and it slowly began to emerge that this
was not an isolated case since the records furnished by this site showed sales
made all over the country and even in Europe. The case was moved to Atlanta probably
due to the authorities following the money. The Atlanta Three were indicted by the
United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta in 2011.
Baitcher finally made restitution in the amount of $765,287 and he walked out the door
massaging his slapped hand with no jail time and with a misdemeanor conviction
instead of a felony conviction. Lack of a felony conviction might save his Georgia
auctioneer license. Satisfaction came with the realization that those who purchased
these fake lamps were going to get their money back. Paying the restitution told all
that Baitcher and his partners in crime did in fact offer for sale fake and fraudulently
signed Tiffany lamps and based all of the available evidence, The Atlanta Three were
well aware of what they were doing. TiffanyFakes.Com believes that the $765,287.00
was not just money earned from selling fake lamps but probably 30 to 60 percent of the
total were the investigative costs added on by the FBI/DOJ. They are entitled to it and congratulations to them for getting it. Can you imagine that The Atlanta Three had
to pay to have a real Tiffany expert come to Atlanta and let them know that the lamps
were fakes. This means that in addition to the money collected for the sales, The Atlanta
Three had to get into their pockets to come up with these investigative costs. Add to
this their attorney's fees and it becomes a real non profitable endeavor. Smart they
were not and it serves them right.

The lack of any felony convictions will allow ex-real estate agent Fowler to become
a realtor again if desired and worst of all, it allows Baitcher to probably remain a
licensed Georgia auctioneer. That now has our immediate attention and if you would
like to assist us in the endeavor to get Baitcher out of the auctioneering business,
your voice can be heard. The Georgia licensing authority is waiting and wanting to
hear from you. By using the link below, you can express your opinion. You do not need
to be a resident of Georgia or involved in any way in this matter to let the authorities
know what your thoughts are regarding this crime and especially the gross misuse of his auctioneering license. Whether you lived in Georgia or if you lived in another state you
would want to know that the auctioneers in your state are following the straight and
narrow. Let your voice be heard. It will take only a few minutes and will do a
lot of good. We can only hope. His auction license is AU002194.

http://sos.ga.gov/plb/submitcomplaint.php

Just when you think this could not get any crazier, the FBI/DOJ decided that even before
those who had purchased these fakes had received their reimbursement, it is now time
to get these fakes back in the marketplace which would allow for them to show up
again in an Ebay listing near you. They were to be "secretly marked" but exactly
what does "secretly marked" mean? What is "secretly marked" by one person can be
secretly unmarked by another. Maybe it is so secretly marked that no one could even see
the secret mark. What is the proper procedure to get and keep these fakes out of the
marketplace and never have to see them again? Remember seeing photos of a gigantic
paving machine smashing thousands of fake watches by makers such as Rolex and
Cartier that had been confiscated. When the roller stops, there is nothing but junk left.
What about counterfeit money? Ever seen that back in circulation? When you can finally
get to understand that decision, along comes more confusion. Guess who the FBI/DOJ
picked to liquidate these fake Tiffany lamps? None other than the Red Baron auction
house but, there were probably several good reasons for that decision.
One was the fact that they were right there in Atlanta which would save on the |
packing and shipping costs and such a wonderful opportunity would probably cause
Red Baron to pick them up and deliver them to their auction house for free. Probably
another reason would be that Georgia licensed auctioneer Baitcher who was the self
proclaimed "lead" or "head" auctioneer for Red Baron Antiques and he has definitely
had plenty of experience with fake and fraudulently signed Tiffany. In the mail comes an announcement from Red Baron's regarding a "BIG 2 DAY FALL AUCTION, to be
held October 26 and 27". From the announcement: "THIS IS THE BIG ONE" and
"THE BIGGEST AUCTION OF THE YEAR
" scream the headlines. Cannot wait.
Of note are the following statements: "THE FABULOUS COLLECTION
OF COUNTERFEIT "TIFFANY" LAMPS"
and "WE ARE ALSO FEATURING
THE MOST AMAZING COLLECTION OF COUNTERFEIT "TIFFANY"
LAMPS, WHICH HAVE FOOLED EXPERTS IN THE FIELD, ALL OVER
THE WORLD
". The only people fooled by these lamps were Georgia licensed auctioneer Baitcher and the other two members of The Atlanta Three who thought they were
going to get away with this scam. The "field" the statement refers to must be one of the
numerous Kudzu fields to be found in Georgia. Another flyer for this sale reads:
"THESE RARE COUNTERFEIT "TIFFANY" LAMPS HAVE JUST BEEN
RELEASED FROM FEDERAL CUSTODY WHERE SOME HAVE BEEN
HELD FOR YEARS
". There is no explanation in the advertisement as to why these
lamps were held in Federal custody but we all know why. "THESE LAMPS HAVE
FOOLED HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF BUYERS AS WELL AS MOST
OF THE EXPERTS IN THE FIELD
". There is that Kudzu field again and the sellers
could not even get them past a few buyers much less "hundreds if not thousands".
It is comforting to know that "EACH IS MARKED SECRETLY SO NOT TO GET
BACK IN CIRCULATION AS REAL
". "SOME HAVE REAL BASES. MOST
ARE MADE WITH REAL TIFFANY GLASS
". We have doubts about the "REAL
TIFFANY GLASS
" but we will agree that "SOME HAVE REAL BASES" as it is
hard to have a table lamp without a real base and if it does not have a real base, it is
probably a hanging lamp. The only true statement is "BUT ALL ARE COUNTERFEIT".
"A VERY RARE OPPORTUNITY
" and we are sure those who originally bought these
fakes would not be bidding. Can you imagine that Georgia licensed auctioneer Baitcher
and self described "head" or "lead" Red Baron auctioneer could possibly be the auctioneer
for these lamps? We have no idea what happened at the scheduled auction or even if the
auction was held. Nothing like two bites at the same apple. Whew.

ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE LAMPS WERE RETURNED TO THE
FBI/DOJ, VERIFIED BY ONE OF THE FOREMOST TIFFANY EXPERTS
IN THE WORLD AS FAKES BUT FOR SOME REASON, NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS DESTROYED. THEY ARE OUT THERE SO BE VERY CAREFUL.

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