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You never know about people really....
Old 09-27-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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You never know about people really....

I know this guy. I did an auction in Houston with this guy (as in being his assitant who wrote the bids down as HE did, also, during the auction, which should shoot the sloppy recordkeeping b.s.). He did all the hotsie-totsie auctions for the area--including the Governor of Texas, John Connolly, that was in the car when JFK was killed--which is just one of the many, many top quality/high society auctions he did.
But, just toodling around on the internet today, what do I find? This couple had been stealing from their wealthy clients FOR YEARS....mind blowing!
My point is: you think you know someone. You think they are "decent, honest" people. And they turn out to be the biggest crooks. Go figure?

Hart Galleries Owners Sentenced - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston

$3.5 million stolen over the years? Over the years? And hundreds robbed? How did this not get caught before now

http://www.khou.com/news/local/crime...10906606f.html


Reminds me of the fun guy who sold IRA's when they first came out, and he officed next to where I worked. Married to a Dr. in Houston and they had a little 3 year old. Turned out he was a professional crook who was selling illegal and, I guess, nonexistent IRA's to people (they had just become the big thing then).
FBI was swarming his partner's office down the hall. He saw me and asked if they were in his office, took his few possessions from there, went home and wrote a note to his wife. Then he took all the money from the bank and the good car, wrote her a note and adios to her.
Last I heard the lady Dr. went with the little girl to live with her parents. The comments I got was she "thought it was odd he had no drivers license or identification." He had told her his family was killed in the Holocaust, so, being Jewish, she bought that one. Boy! how I'd like to hear all the story on that one, too.
Again, you never know about people do you?

(Orchidflower needs a beer now....)
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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That's for sure!! But Orchidflower, don't feel bad about it. From what the article says, Hart was a con artist and his specialty was in fooling people. And from what I understand, con artists don't look or act like you would expect a con artist to look or act. Anybody would have been fooled by him, I would think.

Good thing he didn't stiff you on your pay for being his assistant. He was probably waiting for millions of dollars instead.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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There is no way in the world that I could have known he was a crook. My meetings with him were fleeting, and he was just an affable guy....but just such a disappointment.
And, you're right...you wouldn't have pegged him for a crook UNLESS you had given him some antique and he sold it for you, which I never did. Believe it or not, after I left Houston I thought a couple of times I should have given him some of my antiques to sell. Instead, I gave my stuff to two great (gay) guys who sell in the far north suburbs of Chicago (where the real $$ is)--and they were above reproach (God bless 'em!). Dodged that bullet.
It's always such a disappointment, tho, when someone you know or kinda know and think well of turns out to be...well, a real creep.
Being in sales for well over 30 years and meeting and talking to thousands of people, I have heard way more of these stories than I care to remember. I should be realllly jaded by now..ha!
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:27 PM   #4
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I guess(hope) that people like this are a rarity. I don't know their psychology...sociopaths, borderline personalities, narcissists? I suppose that con artists/grifters have always been with us throughout the history of mankind.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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Yup, you never know. After all, I am really homeless and my posting absences are due to crack binges.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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I knew it...
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
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I'm often amazed at how far people will go to defend those accused of criminal activity, just based on the "he seemed like such a good guy" approach.

Locally we had a teacher accused of sexual relations with a student, and because he was very popular there were parents organizing protests over his arrest and dismissal. They had a victim, they had other students who had noted and could corroborate the behavior, and they even had digital evidence in the form of explicit text messages and dick photos on the girl's cell phone, but so many in the community just went straight for the "impossible he's a great teacher" claim while actually implying the girl was lying. I understand innocent until proven guilty but given the published facts I honestly don't get it.

People put their best face forward, and often those with something to hide are the best at it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Similarly, it is amazing how people will try to understand someone who commits truly heinous repeated crimes, like a child molester or a serial killer. They'll try to imagine reasons why he chose one victim or another, or why he did or didn't do this or that, when often their thinking just doesn't seem to be on the same plane as that of most of us.

Personally I have been really taken in by some people who have just fooled me completely. I am told that often it is very easy to be fooled by certain people, for example sociopaths.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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W2R,

I have read that many sociopaths go into management. (Seriously.) Not all become criminals.

And, yes, that is why they are called con[fidence] men.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
$3.5 million stolen over the years? Over the years? And hundreds robbed? How did this not get caught before now
Quote:
Hart Galleries filed for bankruptcy in 2006.
I guess it didn't pay after all...
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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"Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money." - Jackie Mason

Anyway, I have, lately, been struggling to get my mind around this thought from the "Seven Lies About Lying":

"And there is another dirty little secret about lying ó in the pursuit of truth, some lying is invariably necessary. Kant, who was searching for some universal moral principle, believed that if everybody lied the world would fall into shambles. Nobody would ever trust another person. But everybody does lie, the world does function after a fashion, and it is not at all clear that, if lying were eliminated, the world would be a better place. My hunch is that if we ever find so-called intelligent life on other planets or in other galaxies, they will be adept liars, too.
...
When youíre talking about Kant and trust, it made me think of one of the ways I tell people about the con game. I say, 'You wouldnít want to live in a world where you canít be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. Thatís the price you pay for trust, is being conned.' And itís very easy to substitute being lied to. Right?"
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:56 AM   #12
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I have read that many sociopaths go into management. (Seriously.)
I know! I had one as a supervisor for eight years. For years I thought that person was just a bad supervisor, until Frank showed me the definition of a sociopath (and it was a perfect match in all respects).

But what goes around comes around, and I have the best supervisor imaginable right now. Life is good, and soon I won't have a supervisor at all.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #13
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Well, regarding the Jerry and Wynonne Hart saga: Now has been allowed a retrial as of this July, '09, ruling. Can you believe that the jury foreman (Robert Roper) was so stupid that he actually told a private investigator--who taped the conversation, of course--that he had given the Harts some items to sell in about the mid-'80's and they screwed him, so he felt "really good" about turning in the jury decision to put them in prison. He just blew the entire case! You're not supposed to have personal knowledge of these people and be the jury foreman!!!
I gather the D.A. was pretty upset as he should be, as he won the case. What a dumb*ss! This has to be the stupidest jury foreman in the world!!! If I'm ever on trial for something I did that was illegal, I want this guy to be my jury foreman...unless he was paid to do this, which, knowing how crooked this was, wouldn't be a total shock. If not, this guy is just a dolt.
The case was thrown out (altho they are still in jail I guess?), and they get a new trial--even tho they admitted guilt and signed papers to that effect. I just found this on the net last night. Maybe a second trial will cost so much the Harts will run out of money (there has to be "some" justice in this world)?
And, dang! this is one time I wish I still was living in Houston, so I could get the scoop on this trial. It will be another juicy, juicy Texas trial I'm sure. No place has such juicy trials like Texas overall..I swear that's true. So many down there are like Madoff's trial today.
Any lawyers or knowledgeable people as to what this means according to the law for the State of Texas. I wonder if those papers are allowed at trial again?
I wonder if REWahoo knows?
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
"Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money." - Jackie Mason

Anyway, I have, lately, been struggling to get my mind around this thought from the "Seven Lies About Lying":

"And there is another dirty little secret about lying — in the pursuit of truth, some lying is invariably necessary. Kant, who was searching for some universal moral principle, believed that if everybody lied the world would fall into shambles. Nobody would ever trust another person. But everybody does lie, the world does function after a fashion, and it is not at all clear that, if lying were eliminated, the world would be a better place. My hunch is that if we ever find so-called intelligent life on other planets or in other galaxies, they will be adept liars, too.
...
When you’re talking about Kant and trust, it made me think of one of the ways I tell people about the con game. I say, 'You wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can’t be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That’s the price you pay for trust, is being conned.' And it’s very easy to substitute being lied to. Right?"
I really enjoyed this. If you went around telling the truth all the time, you would have no friends, no lovers, no spouse. You children would hate you. What's worse, your "truth telling" which is merely your one opinion, may have much more to do with your own personality, conflicts and hostilities than with anything resembling "the truth", even if such thing could exist which it cannot.

Lie, try to smooth the way for everyone.

Ha
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #15
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If you went around telling the truth all the time, you would have no friends, no lovers, no spouse. You children would hate you. What's worse, your "truth telling" which is merely your one opinion, may have much more to do with your own personality, conflicts and hostilities than with anything resembling "the truth", even if such thing could exist which it cannot.
Lie, try to smooth the way for everyone.
Ha
Good points.
When someone asks me for my opinion, my initial response is something like this..."Do you want the PC answer, or do you want to know what I really think?", said with a big grin.
It's my way of making sure the person wants it unvarnished. If they are silly enough to say yes, give it to me straight, then I do exactly that and nobody gets upset. Well, at least most of the time...
The only time I will tell a "little white lie" is if I don't want to hurt someone with the "truth" about a situation, which in most cases they already know.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:40 PM   #16
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Ha, are you saying that my a*s really does look fat in those jeans?
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:45 PM   #17
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Ha, are you saying that my a*s really does look fat in those jeans?
It absolutely looks gorgeous, as does all the rest of you, you Hottie.

Ha
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:53 PM   #18
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I have a friend who married a sociopath and when they were dating, everyone fell for him but me. All of the girls were gushing over how attentive he was (I said stalker) and how concerned he was about her (I said controlling freak) and how romantic he was (I said out on parole).

She married in haste and I guess is repenting at leisure. Has a kid and all. Really sucks for her, and of course everyone else can see it now that that he showed his true colors.

But if you think most people are bad, and it turns out you are right once in a while, you still look like a genius. A grumpy and suspicious genius, but one nonetheless.

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Old 09-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #19
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:36 AM   #20
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That's hysterical, Sarah in SC, and I've done the same thing exactly. I finally gave up trying to "help" girlfriends/female relatives when I could tell the fellow was no good and they were so convinced he was wonderful. When it turned out I was 100% right each time, it just sucked too much out of me trying to get them into reality. Now I just let the chips fall where they may...and go on with my own life...and let them find out on their own. Like you I suspect, I've seen some really bright/successful women make some really bad judgment choices. Go figure?
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