Monday, 19 March 2012

Malter Galleries: Sentence

Malter Galleries Inc. (Agoura Hills, CA 91376-1710 U.S.A) is a major US auction house of ancient coins and related books and collectibles. Its blurb on V-Coins says: "each year we search for quality coins and other collectibles that can be either sold through our gallery or included in our highly successful auctions". They are not only (among other things) V-coins dealers, but also a member of the International Association of Professional Numismatists since 1970.

It is one thing for an antiquities dealer to claim a "good reputation", another to actually earn it by close attention to where the items they sell come from. Collectors buying items from dealer Michael Malter of Malter Galleries Inc., should take care to hang onto the paperwork of items bought from this gallery between mid March 2012 and mid-March 2014, as U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson has ordered that for the next two years "he must show documentation that any antiquities and ancient coins he intends to sell have not been illegally obtained" - the only artefacts in the whole US antiquities market where this is the case. Apparently - if you believe dealers - this is "impossible", so it will be interesting to see how Mr Malter gets along continuing to deal in such "impossible" conditions.

Michael Glen Malter, 56, pleaded guilty last year to illegally trafficking in Native American archaeological resources. His home-based business, Malter Galleries Inc., was also a defendant in the case.
Malter was indicted in August 2009 on charges of illegally trafficking in 261 examples of Native American tools, beads, bone materials and other items taken from federal lands within Joshua Tree National Park, Channel Islands National Park and elsewhere. He was also charged with receiving and selling archaeological materials representing the pre-Hispanic cultures of El Salvador. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said Malter showed a "cavalier" attitude toward the crime and was "clearly insensitive" to the cultural heritage of Native Americans and others.
According to sentencing papers, Malter's late father was convicted a dozen years ago in federal court in Oklahoma of illegally trafficking in stolen Turkish antiquities. Father and son worked together at Malter Galleries when the business operated out of an Encino storefront.
Malter was sentenced to serve two years of probation, which includes the one year of home detention, and 150 hours of community service. Anderson made one of the conditions of the dealer's probation that he must show documentation that any antiquities and ancient coins he intends to sell have not been illegally obtained. He was also ordered to pay an $8,000 fine and about $16,200 to the National Park Service and its archaeological investigations fund.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph O. Johns wrote in court papers, "there can be no excuse made for his knowing and intentional decisions to traffic in stolen Native American artifacts for personal profit":
The prosecutor, who specializes in environmental crime, drew a distinction between Malter's offenses and the acts of grave robbers. But, Johns wrote, "without unscrupulous individuals ... who are willing to traffic with the thieves of Native American archaeological sites, there would be virtually no incentive to loot such sites because there would be no market for such stolen antiquities." Malter's "fingernails may not be dirtied from the looting site, but his buttoned-down, white collar is so stained," Johns wrote.
Joseph O. Johns will have the ACCG dealers down on him like a tonne of bricks I am sure for that statement. They claim it is not logical to cite a relationship between demand and supply in antiquities, after all, everybody knows about the coin fairies and coin elves.
In a brief statement to the court, Malter tearfully spoke of now having "a devastating felony on my once-perfect record."
The firm is of course well known, it is mentioned in Bruce McNall's Fun While it Lasted".

Oddly enough, this news is not being reported in ACCG circles. Was Mr Malter an ACCG Benefit Auction donor last year?

Source: Daily News Wire Services
, 'Agoura Hills antiquities dealer gets home detention, fines for illegally dealing in Indian artifacts', 19th March 2012

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.