Attorney General James announces settlement with Syracuse-area auctioneer

Attorney General Letitia James

Additional victims urged to file complaints before July 8, 2019

Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement in a contempt of court case with an auctioneer who previously defrauded consumers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Syracuse area.

Timothy W. Conroy was found in contempt of court for violating a 2008 court othat prohibits him from engaging in the auction business. The order was obtained after the Attorney General’s Office sued Conroy and his businesses, TW Conroy and Associates and My Sister the Lister, for engaging in repeated illegal and deceptive acts and practices.

The lawsuit was initiated after the Attorney General received consumer complaints alleging that Conroy failed to pay individuals for their consigned items that had been sold or did not return unsold consigned items to the original owners.

“Bad actors who prey on unsuspecting consumers for their own personal gain will be brought to justice,” said James. “My office remains diligent and will continue our efforts to prevent New Yorkers from falling victim to the fraudulent actions of auction houses.”

Pursuant to this contempt consent order and judgment, Conroy is permanently barred from receiving, administering or in any way controlling the proceeds of any sales of property owned by others. In lieu of posting a $500,000 performance bond, which was required by the 2008 order, Conroy must hire an independent trustee to receive, administer and control all proceeds received from auction sales. The trustee will maintain a separate financial account for the proceeds from the auction sales to be deposited and Conroy will have no access to this fund.

The trustee will be responsible for delivering the net proceeds directly to the consumers whose property was sold. Additionally, within 30 days of receiving the sale proceeds, the trustee will remit no less than 20 percent of the retained commissions and sales expenses for each sale to the Attorney General’s Office. This amount will be applied to the outstanding restitution balance of more than $411,000, the total owed to 84 consumers. After payment to the consigners and the Attorney General’s Office, the trustee will transfer the remaining balance to Conroy.

The Attorney General’s Office learned that Conroy was recently doing business as Estate Consultants, LLC, and Estate Consultants, 123, Inc. By engaging in the auction business without posting a $500,000 performance bond, Conroy was operating in violation of the 2008 order and judgment.

Sentencing for civil contempt will be suspended providing that Conroy complies with all terms of the consent order and judgment.

Consumers who consigned items with Timothy Conroy or Estate Consultants after Jan. 1, 2016, are urged to call 800.771.7755 if they have not received payment for their consigned items. Complaints must be received by July 8, 2019.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Malkin, with the assistance of Law Department Investigator Andrea Buttenschon. The Syracuse Office is led by Assistant Attorney General in Charge Ed Thompson. The Syracuse Regional Office is part of the Division of Regional Offices, which is led by Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Jill Faber.

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