and other stuff
So what are the crooks' names?
Roger Thanks for the link on this crime. This happened in my area and I know several people who bought these insulators. I suspected them from the beginning , even when the buyers defended them as real. It shows the length that some people will go to for money. I not sure If they sleep at night after selling these to there friends. I hope the bottle hobby never has to endure this level of fraud. MAX BELL ( CAL 49ER )
"So what are the crooks' names?"Ron & Joe Souza.
Now I find that name to be interesting for a couple of reasons, does anyone know where these guys lived ?www.oldwestbottles.com
What a Fricken Mess, So that was then and this is Now, Whats been done? Have these guys been brought to Justice? Anybody know? DB
It sounds like more was spent on all the investigations, attorneys, agencies, etc. than the victims were out of money. That being the case, these guys were probably never prosecuted nor had to pay any restitution. They definitely deserve a dose of some Old West justice and should be strung up on a pole with telegraph wire. www.oldwestbottles.com
LOU I beleive they were from Colfax area near me in Auburn. MAX
Ron Souza lived in Roseville and was almost always seen in the lower building at the Auburn Show. He owned a transmission shop and evidently taught his boy well as a machinist.Neither were charged. DA wanted $100,000 or more in receipts for losses to prosecute. Unfortunately, only about half that amount could be proven through check receipts, etc., the other half was cash and no receipts. It was clear the DA had much bigger fish to fry on their dockets, so they were allowed to skate. Only good side to this is they were chased out of the hobby and the state, plus the molds were confiscated and destroyed.
That's absolutely terrible that these guys got off with no consequences by the legal system. What in the hell kind of message does that send to prospective crooks? This was also not the first time Mr., Souza had been involved in criminal activity either. The DAs office had a strong felony case here with a crime, victims & evidence. The statement that: "they required documented losses in excess of $100,000 in order to prosecute" is a crock of s___t. They dropped the ball here and were wrong by not pursuing this & should of been held accountable for their poor actions. I believe it would of made a big difference if more people both victims and non victims would of come forward and complained. I highly suspect that many of the victims may have been to embarrassed to come forward or just simply didn't want to bother. It makes a huge difference in the outcome of felony cases when all victims involved file complaints & communicate regularly with all authorities. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease".www.oldwestbottles.com
Someone mentioned , "I hope the bottle hobby never has to endure this level of fraud". Wasnt there some dude from SoCal making hat whimsies out of sodas and Saratogas? A bunch went thru an East Coast Auction house about 10 yrs ago.As for the Souzas.... anyone have any pics of these crooks? Did they used to sell at the Auburn bottle show?There was a guy from SoCa about 15 yrs ago trying to buy broken bottles, specifically an M. Keller, so he could "make a mold". Pretty scarey eh...
Sad thing is, the law is more on the side of criminals. They have more rights then law abiding citizens. Speaking of law abiding citizens, check out the flick w Gerard Butler named Law Abiding Citizen if you want to see some good ole justice doled out !To prosecute a case like the insulator case, a person or group needs tons of money to pay the lawyers' fees. Scum backs like the Souzas dont get prosecuted unless the unknowingly mess with some rich dude that can afford to take it all the way and knows the system.
Scary indeed! The Insulator Association did a great job getting this shut down as soon as they did. Western insulator collectors faced threatened lawsuits, verbal abuse...so on, but they put a stop to the fraudsters. I hope the bottle hobby would respond as well. Support your club and support the Federation. We can use those channels to get the word out, and by all means if you have been scammed or know of a fraud going on, lets put a stop to it! This kinda crap will kill our hobby! We not only need to run these purbs. out of the hobby..we need to run their arses into jail!
It's the District Attorneys job to build a case and prosecute the perpetrators of a crime in order to serve justice on victims. Once the DAs office steps in they act as the victims attorney and there are no attorneys fees or cost what-so-ever to the victim(s). Problem is that most District Attorneys offices are so overloaded with cases they generally only go after the most serious. It's a fine line they draw between deciding what to prosecute and what not to and likely where the 100k figure came from. I applaud the insulator guys for banding together and ousting these crooks from the hobby. Could you imagine fake "Club Houses" or "Gold Dust" that were done as good as those insulators, gezzzzzzzz.............
Actually, the Souza fakes weren't done that well. You could easily identify them by the poor surface texture (probably from not controlling the mold temp properly), the dome taper, inaccurate embossing and just overall character of the glass. If someone popped out fake Club Houses with such characteristics I guarantee you would be able to identify them across the room. As for a beginning collector or one that buys only for "pretty glass", that's where the damage is done.
Interesting note: If you Google the crooks' names, the first hit is a letter of support for Ron Souza dated 2003 from PAt Patock.
Sad but true Pat was one of Souza's biggest victims, some friend......
Looks like Joe Souza didn't move out of Cal after all, just further north. He was into Gyrocopters, but sold his business during the divorce. Now he's into Hot Rods in Yuba City. Have a look at this link and maybe better understand how easy it was for him to machine a mold or two:http://www.jsroadsters.com/index.htm
That Hot Rod guy could be a different Joe. That's a fairly common name....
Do any of these fakes currently ever come up for sale as known reproductions and if so what price range do they sell in?
Looking around at the Hot Rod website and a couple Google search hits confirms that's him. No doubt about it.I know of two of the Souza EC&Ms that have recently changed hands at $200 each. Both buyers knew exactly what they were buying. Both just wanted a representation for educational purposes and as a novelty item.
Their kind of a neat novelty item to have but the fact that they were made to fool collectors is a little weird. I'd be interested in purchasing different colors of these for myself if any are available, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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