Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

Former auction-house owner Kruse facing Pennsylvania theft charge

Tue, 06 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Former auction house owner Dean Kruse surrendered to northern Indiana authorities last week to face a theft charge in Pennsylvania, where he is accused of failing to pay a man $38,000 for selling an antique hearse.

The Associated Press, citing The Herald Republican of Angola, Ind., said that Kruse, 69, was released Aug. 31 from the DeKalb County Jail in Auburn, Ind., after posting a $5,000 bond.

He had appeared in court earlier, the AP said.

Kruse's attorney, Margaret Grimm, asked DeKalb Superior Court Judge Kevin Wallace to release Kruse on his own recognizance, calling him a respected "pillar of the community," the newspaper said.

"This matter in Pennsylvania is dealing with a corporate thing which Mr. Kruse is not personally liable for," Grimm told the paper. "We will be proceeding with a vigorous defense of Mr. Kruse."

DeKalb County chief deputy prosecutor Donald P. Shively told the judge he was opposed to Kruse being released on his own recognizance, but that he would accept whatever the court decided.

Wallace agreed to release Kruse, set a $5,000 bond and ordered him to remain in the United States pending an Oct. 28 extradition hearing, the AP said.

A Pennsylvania court issued a warrant for Kruse's arrest after prosecutors in Dauphin County filed a criminal complaint accusing Kruse of theft.

According to Pennsylvania court records, Kruse is charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds. The records allege that in October 2008, John Bosk transported a 1919 Sayers and Scoville Hearse to the Hershey Auto Auction for sale.

Bosk contracted with Kruse International for an auction and sale, with Dean Kruse as the auctioneer. The selling price was $43,000 and Kruse took a 10 percent fee for selling the car.

The complaint alleges that Kruse never paid Bosk the $38,000 he's owed for the sale, The Herald Republican reported.

Kruse has been sued repeatedly in recent years for business practices that include not releasing funds to vehicle consigners or vehicle titles to purchasers.

Indiana suspended Kruse's auctioneer's license and stripped his former Auburn-based auction house Kruse International of its license last year.

Kruse hosted classic car auctions for nearly four decades in Auburn.

The auctions--staged each Labor Day weekend--drew tens of thousands of visitors who watched bidders compete to buy rare and classic autos, including cars once owned by Clark Cable, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

By Automotive News