Thursday 19 April 2012

Future of Suspended ACCG Member Uncertain

On July 27th last year on the ACCG website it was noted by dealer Wayne Sayles ('ACCG members indicted on customs charges') that
"two members of the ACCG have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in New York on criminal charges of customs violations involving the importation of Egyptian antiquities from Dubai. [...] The ACCG members, Salem Alshdaifat (Holyland Numismatics) and Morris Khouli (Windsor Antiquities) have pleaded not guilty and are free on bond pending trial.
Sayles goes on to announce that in response to this indictment:
the ACCG Board of Directors has temporarily suspended the memberships of Alshdaifat and Khouli pending resolution of these charges. This action was taken by vote of the board in concert with paragraph IIIA of the guild bylaws. The board is hopeful that Mr. Alshdaifat and Mr. Khouli will be found innocent of these charges.
Now paragraph IIIA refers to criteria for ACCG membership:
The Board of Directors, by affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Board may suspend or terminate the membership of a Member or Member Organization for cause, including dishonorable conduct, or actions inimical to the best interests of the hobby, or such other cause which the Board deems good and sufficient, by setting forth in a written notice, with reasonable specificity, the reasons for such suspension or expulsion.
I presume getting caught and then pleading guilty to smuggling antiquities is one very clear case of committing actions inimical to the best interests of the hobby. The question is whether in the case of Mr Khouli, the ACCG consider this grounds for immediate expulsion from the membership of the ACCG. Although the guilty plea was yesterday, today the "latest news" on the ACCG website concerns "End the Unilateral Trade Sanctions on Collectors", you know, the US legislation which defines what is an illicit import. It will be interesting to see if the ACCG exclude a member for admitting to getting caught circumventing the very legislation which the ACCG says the US should not have placed there in the first place in the case of antiquities and  in flagrant violation of which it has itself attempted to import Chinese and Cypriot coins in order to challenge it. Still, for Mr Khouli all is not lost, the ACCG may eject him from their ranks, but he still boasts he is a "life member of the American Numismatic Association"


Dorothy King said...

I do understand the point you're making - but they are still at this point innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. I doubt the Federal Attorney would have pressed charges unless he thought he could make a case ... but the whole concept of judicual process and presumed innocent is what makes Democracries superior to Tyrannies.

And IF they are found guilty, and IF the ACCG doesn't kick 'em out ... well then the ACCG will be a joke.

Paul Barford said...

I was speaking of ONE ACCG member who in court has in fact already entered a guilty plea. The ACCG of course tries to make out coin collectors live under an undemocratic tyranny.

Dorothy King said...

Apologies - so you did. Mea culpa etc. Was trying to catch up on your posts ... The ACCG is an ase not to have kicked him out, and you can quote me on that, as by not doing so they are defacto endorsing his actions by saying they are acceptable.

Read Peter Tompa's and found them fascinating as he was acting as an apologist for the man, who one would guess was guilty or he would not have pleaded guilty - and the US legal system would suggest that a plea bargain was likely in use.

I guess the ACCG claiming to represent the views of collectors is a little like the NRA claiming to represent the views of Americans. Could be worse - everyone could have an Uzi

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