INDIVIDUAL LICENSEE ISSUES:
Wilson (based in Arkansas)
Complaint Also Entails:
Wilson Auctioneers, Arkansas
Tommy Assister, Texas
Marvin Henderson, Louisiana
Brief Background & Crux of Complaint:
Mr. Robert Kite filed a complaint with the LALB regarding an auction of an RV at Tranquility Bay in Toledo Bend, LA on November 18, 2011. In his complaint, Mr. Kite demonstrated that the auction was advertised as ABSOLUTE (meaning selling regardless of price). Mr. Kite complained that an auction advertised and conducted as "absolute," should mean that the item SELLS after the auction's conclusion irrespective of whether the final bid covered the debt or not (in this case, the final bid was grossly short of covering Kite's Security Agreement on the RV).
It turns out that the final bidder was fellow auctioneer Marvin Henderson. Arkansas auctioneer Joe Wilson relayed that Mr. Henderson had graciously agreed to merely give the RV back to the seller. Mr. Kite then inquired about the back-up bidder; however, Mr. Wilson responded that his firm NEITHER audio records its auctions nor tracks the back-up bidders.
It is also interesting to note that Mr. Wilson relayed that he did NOT have a written agreement with the seller for the RV's auction. Instead, he said that, if such a document exists, it would be in the hands of fellow auctioneer Tommy Assister (Texas).
Mr. Wilson subsequently informed the LALB that, as a long-time past Arkansas State Board Chairman, he would "ensure a complaint warranted a hearing" and that "there certainly has not been a violation committed here." It's interesting that Mr. Wilson would make such a statement given that #1) auction contracts in Louisiana entailing the sale of goods exceeding $500 are to be in WRITING, yet he readily admits the RV auction was a "verbal agreement") and, furthermore, #2) items advertised "absolute" are supposed to sell REGARDLESS of price!
Mr. Kite became frustrated with what he believed to be a blind eye being turned to his accusations that collusion had transpired entailing Henderson, Wilson, and the seller. He further said the LALB may be a "case of the fox guarding the hen house." When he learned that neither Wilson nor Henderson would be required to attend any hearing, as he relays in his letter at the preceding link, he opted not to attend either.
Mr. Kite's allegations, if true regarding collusion, would obviously entail Shill Bidding. While LAPA makes no official comment on Mr. Kite's allegations, LAPA does point out the fact that Mr. Henderson has made some very public statements supportive of shill bidding as evidenced by the FOURTH (4th) and TENTH (10th) audio file at this link, notwithstanding the illegality of the practice.
The "hearing," if one can call it that, was scheduled for November 5, 2012, coincidentally a date that both Henderson and Wilson would be together at an auctioneer's convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Unfortunately, because the date of this meeting was moved AHEAD twice, LAPA was unaware of it transpiring and consequently had no representative there to film it. Nevertheless, what follows is a three-minute-plus audio of discussions the Board held prior to convening the "hearing," with those discussions themselves being quite interesting.
November 5, 2012:
LALB Meeting: 11/05/12
0:11 - 0:36 LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp tries to explain why the LALB is even pursuing the matter at all
0:37 - 1:04 LALB Vice Chairman explains he got "5 calls from auctioneers in Texas threatening to drop their Louisiana licenses."
1:36 - 1:46 LALB Attorney Anna Dow explains she was only doing her job "and then I get all this reaction."
1:47 - 1:51 LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp says, "That's when [Dow sending the subpoena] shit hit the fan."
[Very professional commentary from Gov. Jindal's hand-picked Chairman, huh?]
2:01 - 2:06 LALB Vice Chairman James Sims is concerned he may have to recuse himself
because "so many auctioneers called me saying he's getting a raw deal."
2:18 - 3:14 LALB discusses the fact neither Wilson nor Henderson will be present because, per James Sims,
"they're both in Kansas City at the [National Auctioneers] Foundation Board meetng."
LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp expresses surprise that Henderson is even in the mix!!
Not surprisingly, the LALB officially exonerates all parties of any wrongdoing.
The cavalier manner in which the LALB manages to
Dismiss such obvious auction statute violations (no written agreement for goods over $500),
advertising an auction absolute when conditions are NOT in place for such to occur,
combined with many similar observations, is what prompted LAPA Vice President
to produce the above video on November 3, 2012 directly comparing the LALB with the Mafia.
To return to LAPA's Index Page of Individual License Issues, CLICK HERE