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Response to Allegations

June 18 2006 at 10:44 PM
Doug Allen  (Login dallenmastro)

First let me state that we at Mastro Auctions take very seriously the claims made in the New York Daily News article. Good customers/friends of ours like Richard Masson and Jay Miller understand just how important integrity is when in comes to conducting auctions both for my firm and for me personally. I appreciate their friendship and kind comments.

I am very disappointed but not surprised that the NYDN would run a story like this when their primary source was "unnamed" and the primary allegations were "unsubstantiated".

There is not much for me to say in response except that to my knowledge we are not under investigation and as a firm we have responded to every official inquiry that has come to us regarding Mr. Noe and have not held anything back. If more inquiries come our way, again we will be completely forthright in complying.

Edited to Add: I will not be responding to inquiries on this forum..feel free to contact me at my office at 630-472-1200 and I would be happy to respond to any questions directly.

Regards,

Doug Allen
President
Mastro Auctions, inc.



    
This message has been edited by dallenmastro on Jun 18, 2006 11:12 PM


 
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Dan Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Response to Allegations

June 18 2006, 11:00 PM 

This is the same reporter is it not who made claims about the DiMaggio streak bat about 1 1/2 years ago? The same reporter who was invited to come check the evidence in person and declined?...the same reporter who never contacted me or anyone else who went to that meeting to review the evidence?

The same reporter who has a bias against Mastronet?

'Nuff Said!

 
 

Jeff Lichtman
(Login calvindog)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 18 2006, 11:04 PM 

Doug, thanks for the "response." I had a couple of questions if I may. I don't mean to be a pain in the ass or even remotely infringe upon your defense to these allegations, but since you talked to the reporter I thought you might want to allay some concerns here. If you're unable, I obviously understand.

First, you claim that Mastro is not under investigation but it would appear from the article and the quotes that Mastro is believed, by both the Ohio prosecutor and the liquidator that Mastro is believed to have done something wrong. Are those quotes incorrect? Or are you just being literally correct about the fact that the investigation is on its way but not currently ongoing?

Second, you note that the story's primary source is "unsubstantiated" and "unnamed." And you used quotes around those words. Are you quoting from the article? If not, where do those quotes come from? Who has claimed that the source is "unsubstantiated?"

The Ohio prosecutor apparently told the NY Daily News that they discovered "questionable practices that resulted in inflated prices and auction house commissions." Do you have any idea as to what they are talking about? Have you been informed as to what the purported questionable practices are that they are referring to?

Finally, do you have any clue why the State of Ohio would be going after you guys?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed here.



 
 
Harry Wallace (HW)
(Login HAW1918)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 18 2006, 11:17 PM 

Nearly every O'Keefe article that I read in the paper stirs up some sort of controversy.

I believe that he is the same guy who wrote the article on the T206 Wagner, the DiMaggio bat and some stolen baseballs that were auctioned off. I also believe that he was on one of the HBO shows that documented problems in the autograph industry.


    
This message has been edited by HAW1918 on Jun 18, 2006 11:41 PM


 
 

Dan Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Response to Allegations

June 18 2006, 11:27 PM 

Yeah, I know it's him. Did he ever write a retraction on the DiMaggio bat?

Nope...didn't think so.

 
 
Anonymous
(Login murcerfan)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:19 AM 

sounds like time for a libel suit on this "news source"

 
 

Jeff Lichtman
(Login calvindog)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 7:13 AM 

It can't be a libel case. You guys are blaming the newspaper when all they are doing is reporting what a prosecutor is telling them. Why are you guys so quick to believe the allegations against Noe but disbelieve those against Mastro - when in fact the allegations are made by the same prosecutor? I will say, however, that it is unusual for a prosecutor to come out and discuss allegations against a company but also apparently admit that it's investigation against said company are on the "back burner."

 
 

Daniel Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 10:51 AM 

Well for one reason I already know for certain that Michael O'Keefe does not care about objectivity. That's a fact.

 
 
Richard Masson
(Login Yomass)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 11:44 AM 

I read the article multiple times to try to decipher the facts. It is very unclear. Noe convinced the state to invest $50 million in two coin investment partnerships. Who managed them? Did Noe receive a commission? Did Noe monitor or oversee the investments? Was he paid?

Separately, Noe appears to have a memorabilia/collectibles business and buys stuff from Mastro. Mastro doesn't sell many coins, if any. Why are they even mentioned in the article? Because Noe overpaid for a case of Ted Williams baseballs? I don't think the reporter understands the story he is reporting.

I also don't think Mastro has an obligation to verify the good character of their bidders or the "source" of any amounts spent in their auctions. The reporter is taking a gatuitous swipe at them.



 
 

Gilbert Maines
(Login ItsOnlyGil)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:00 PM 

Let us not confuse the NY Daily News with the NY Times. The former relys more heavily, in my opinion, on sensationalism to secure their market share, while the latter often engages in research prior to drawing conclusions or making innuendos.

The politics of each is an issue seperate from their approach to reporting.

 
 

warshawlaw
(Login boxingcardman)

Dan

June 19 2006, 12:06 PM 

Given Judith Miller and the plaigiarism scandals that have plagued the Times, you might want to rethink that statement.

 
 

jeff lichtman
(Login calvindog)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:10 PM 

Richard, again, I don't think there is any connection between Noe's purported fraud and Mastro other than the fact that Mastro's items were purchased by Noe. What the prosecutor seems to be saying, at least via the News article, is that the investigation of Noe's Mastro purchases has led them to believe that Mastro engaged in shill bidding and other fraudulent activities.

 
 
Jay
(Login OldJudge)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:25 PM 

Many years ago Tom Paxton sung a song called Daily News. The song's refrain was:

Daily News, daily blues
Pick up a copy any time you choose
Seven little pennies in the newsboy's hand
And you ride right along to never, never land

Good to see that only the price has changed

 
 

Daniel Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:39 PM 

Adam, I didn't make the comparison between the Times and the Daily News.

 
 
Corey R. Shanus
(Login benjulmag)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 12:43 PM 

I have had many dealings with Mastro Auctions over the years, and I have always been satisfied with the process and the service I received. There have been a number of instances where I have left max bids and won the item at a price below my max bid. I think it would be very wrong and very unfair to pass judgment based solely on unproven allegations reported in a newspaper, especially in the instance of an auction house with such a stellar reputation. Unless and until such allegations are prosecuted and proven, Mastro Auctions in my book is entitled to the presumption of innocence that any American individual or entity is entitled to receive.

 
 
Judge Dred (Fred)
(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 1:33 PM 

I would like to also bring up another point! I've left plenty of bids where my max was not only exceeded but exceeded by several higher bids and sometimes in the thousands of dollars!!! Has that ever happened to anyone else?

 
 

David Vargha
(Login Vargha)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 1:41 PM 

I would like to also bring up another point! I've left plenty of bids where my max was not only exceeded but exceeded by several higher bids and sometimes in the thousands of dollars!!! Has that ever happened to anyone else?

Unfortunately, far too often.

DavidVargha@hotmail.com

 
 
Cobby33
(Login Cobby33)

Link

June 19 2006, 1:47 PM 

Does anybody have a link to this article? Sorry if it's already been provided. Thanks.

 
 
DJ
(Login OJ-Collector)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 2:14 PM 


 
 
Judge Dred (Fred)
(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: Response to Allegations

June 19 2006, 3:27 PM 

I'll be honest with everybody. I just read that article and I don't understand the allegations. Somebody made a few really bad decisions in investing in collectibles as it is related to public funds. I suggest everyone read the article. It's a little humorous in the context of the use of (or lack of) common sense.

 
 
 
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