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GEORGIA MAN SENTENCED IN MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT TO 78 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SELLING FAKE VINTAGE HORROR MOVIE POSTERS AND LOBBY CARDS OVER THE INTERNET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday April 9, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that KERRY HAGGARD, 47, of Commerce, Georgia, was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for selling horror movie posters and lobby cards which he represented over the Internet and elsewhere were authentic vintage collectibles, but were in fact fakes.  HAGGARD pled guilty to one count of mail fraud on October 24, 2011, and was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

According to the Complaint and the Indictment to which HAGGARD pled:

The film industry first introduced posters and lobby cards for horror movies in the 1920s.  Both were displayed in the lobbies of movie theatres and became popular collectible items that are often sold through auction houses and over the Internet through online auction sites such as eBay.

From January 2006 to August 2009, HAGGARD engaged in a scheme to defraud collectors by selling purportedly vintage horror movie posters and lobby cards that he represented were original pieces, knowing that the items were reproductions he had created himself.  HAGGARD used a New York-based printing company to make high-quality copies of horror movie cards or posters from either hard copies or digital scans of pieces he provided.  HAGGARD also used a restoration company to attach the copies to lobby card stock and alter the resulting product to make it look as real as possible. 

HAGGARD then fraudulently marketed the reproductions as originals through eBay.  He was able to sell numerous fake lobby cards and posters for movies such as “Frankenstein” and “Son of Frankenstein,” at prices ranging from $500 to $5,000, to approximately 25 victims.  In other instances, HAGGARD traded his fake reproductions to other sellers who gave him real lobby cards and/or posters in return.  The victims learned of the fraud in various ways, including after providing the lobby card to a restoration expert, or after consigning the piece to a large auction house for sale. 

Although the defendant was released on bail after his arrest in April 2010, he was re-arrested and remanded in March 2011, upon order of the Court, after the FBI learned that HAGGARD was attempting to enlist the assistance of an individual to hide items that were part of the fraud from the FBI and from his victims.  The FBI recovered several pieces believed to be part of HAGGARD’s fraud.  Then, even while in jail, HAGGARD continued secreting assets and items from the fraud, enlisting the assistance of his girlfriend and son in doing so.  The FBI recovered several of these pieces as well. 

As a result of HAGGARD’s fraud, his victims lost more than $1.3 million in money and property.  HAGGARD’s interest in the recovered pieces has been forfeited to the United States.  It is anticipated that proceeds from the sale of those pieces will be used to compensate HAGGARD’s victims.

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In addition to the prison term, Judge McMahon sentenced HAGGARD to three years of supervised release, imposed a $1.38 million forfeiture judgment, imposed a restitution order for $1.38 million, and ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment fee. 

Mr. Bharara praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its outstanding work on the case. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Ryan P. Poscablo is in charge of the prosecution.

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