Cruise Ship Art Auctions Targeted
Posted Apr 9, 2007 3:09 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A class action lawsuit in New Jersey alleges that a company that conducts art auctions on about 70 cruise ships sometimes uses phantom bidders to drive up prices.
The suit was filed against Park West at Sea, according to The Arizona Republic.
"They were shills that weren't even there," alleges plaintiffs’ attorney Ross Begelman. "The auctioneers just pointed at the chandelier or pointed at the crowd."
Morris Shapiro, director of parent company Park West Gallery, says the auctioneer provides “exceptional value” to customers and the lawsuit is “absurd.” Park West lawyer Robert Burlington says the company is appealing class certification.