N.J. man says antiques dealer stole items worth $127,000

By Jim Boyle | Dec 17, 2014

A New Jersey man has accused a Berks County, Pa., antiques dealer of deceptive practices

and breach of contract by failing to follow through on its promise to share in the revenue from the sale of more than $127,000 worth of antiques the plaintiff gave the shop owners, according to a suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Marshall, of Monroe Township, N.J., seeks compensatory and punitive damages from George Allen and Gordon Wyckoff, owners of Raccoon Creek Antiques at Oley Forge in Oley, Pa, on six counts including fraud and unjust enrichment.

According to the complaint, Marshall's wife had been a loyal customer to the store for 30 years, beginning when Raccoon Creek Antiques was located in Bridgeport, N.J., and following their move to Oley. In 2005, she began reselling antiques on consignment with Raccoon Creek.

Following her death in 2010, Allen and Wyckoff visited Marshall's home and gathered 350 antiques to sell through the store. In late 2013, Marshall contacted Allen to get an update on the antiques' status. According to the claim, Allen responded that some of the items have been sold and promised to send a check by the end of the year.

Early 2014 came along with no check mailed to Marshall. In February, the plaintiff arrived at Raccoon Creek Antiques with a pickup truck to take back any antiques that had not been sold. Allen suggested a new deal where the antiques would be distributed to three separate stores. Under the arrangement, the new antiques dealers would submit a deposit check, then pay the remaining amount by May.

Despite his skepticism, the complaint says, Marshall signed the agreement based on his wife's positive experiences with Raccoon Creek over the years. The claim says that Marshall never heard from the defendants again and suspects that the separate dealers never existed.

Marshall claims he made numerous attempts to contact the defendants, but they never responded. Finally, he sent a formal final demand letter in July. The plaintiff says he has suffered severe financial damage and emotional distress as a result of the defendants' actions.

Marshall is represented by Matthew Weisberg of Weisberg Law.

The federal case ID is 5:14-cv-07067-LS.

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