Man Says He Was Rolled for Cowboy Art
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - An investor lost $100,000 swallowing the bait of a promise of treble returns for a share of a $1.5 billion art "master mold," he claims in court.
Steve Kreitzberg sued Nevada-based Bascom Worldwide, John and Lisa Bascom, and J.R. Goergen in Federal Court, claiming securities fraud, wire fraud and sale of unregistered securities.
Goergen and John Bascom "actively solicited" Kreitzberg to give them $100,000 as an "equity investment" in Bascom Worldwide, to be used to monetize one of the "Earl W. Bascom Fine Art Mastermolds," which Goergen said had been appraised at $1.54 billion, according to the complaint.
John Bascom claims to be the son of the late Earl W. Bascom, an American painter, printmaker, sculptor and rodeo performer. Earl Bascom was inducted into several rodeo Halls of Fame in the U.S. and Canada, was honored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Artists Association for his work as a professional artist and sculptor, and was the first cowboy to be honored by the Royal Society of Arts in London.
Featured on Bascom Productions' website are a variety of horse, bull and cowboy-related sculptures. The website, checked this morning, offers customers the chance to "be a first-time owner of an original limited edition Bascom sculpture."
Kreitzberg claims that when he forked over the $100,000 he got in return "no written offering materials such as a private placement memorandum or offering memorandum, business plan, investment suitability questionnaire, financial projections, risk disclosures, BWI corporate documents, shareholders' agreement, or subscription agreement."
He claims that Goergen and Bascom promised he would receive the equivalent of $300,000 in equity shares in Bascom Worldwide for the $100,000.
They also told him "he would receive a one percent (1%) finder's fee for all transactions discovered or referred to BWI by plaintiff, which could be applied to acquire Bascom art produced by certain Earl W. Bascom fine art master molds, at fifty percent (50%) of the current appraised value. Furthermore, defendant Goergen represented that defendant BWI would allow use of Bascom art pieces to acquire companies and other assets, whereby additional profits would be generated through monetization of Bascom art," according to the complaint.
Kreitzberg claims that he paid the money in two installments but was never issued any stock certificates or given any written evidence of it. He claims that Goergen evaded his demands for his money back.
Kreitzberg seeks $100,000, plus 9 percent annual interest, and damages for fraud, wire fraud and sale of unregistered securities..
He is represented by Joshua P. Stump with Harrang Long Gary Rudnick.
Bascom Productions did not immediately respond to a request for comment.