Monday 21 May 2012

PhDiva versus Coiney Dealer-Researcher

Wannabe-"Researcher" Dugup Dealer Alfredo De La Fe decided to 'have a go' at PhDive - Dorothy King. Probably not a wise move on his part. He questioned what she was saying about the ACCG's non-profit status ('Ancient Coin Collectors Guild').  She had said that she had been in contact with two mainstream dealers who were furious that Morris Khouli was still on the list of members and told her that
they had no intention of donating to the ACCG again because of that. They feel that they don’t want to be associated with a group that so blatantly supports breaking laws they don’t like.
De La Fe pointed out that Khouli was suspended before he declared his guilt of the charges against him (plea deal coming up) and Dr King explains it to him in simple words of two syllables or less in the [probably vain] hope he will be able to grasp their meaning. She writes:
I was rather amused to see that Mr De La Fe also thinks suspending a confessed and convicted smuggler's membership of the ACCG was enough. I guess that tells us all we need to know about his own interpretation of the ACCG's views about breaking US laws - and perhaps explains reputable business' reluctance to give the American Crooks and Criminals' Guild any more money? [...] The ACCG smuggled ancient coins into the US, which was possibly acceptable as a test case, but it was still a breach of the law - and although they want to appeal, the legal case has been decided by a judge. ACCG member "Morris" Khouli broke quite a number of US laws, by his own confession, and was convicted. Because he confessed - as part of a plea bargain to avoid other charges - he cannot appeal, and will bear witness against two other ACCG members that he was charged with.* Those two other ACCG members* may yet be found innocent, but by his own confession Khouli is not. The ACCG is free to argue whatever "legal" arguments it likes, but it is clear to all that by only suspending convicted smugglers they are saying they to all that the organisation not only supports smuggling but condones it.
De La Fe is welcome to use the "we stamp our feet and shout loudly" technique, and it may well work when they are preaching to their own fans, but that sort of bullying technique alienates pretty much everyone else.
As she had earlier said, "one day the [ACCG will] get around to terminating the membership of that dealer who confessed to smuggling ... No news on their web site about it yet, but I'm sure they'll do it sometime before his prison sentence is over". I'm not so sure, perhaps they are counting on the short attention span of their other members to cause the matter to be forgotten, rather than spark some discussion in the ranks ("To  smuggle or not to smuggle?").

The latest news from the ACCG concerns nothing so mundane as the re-establishment of their ethical stance, but that four members of the ACCG Board of Directors have been re-appointed - by the Board of Directors  - so no change there then.

Mr de La Fe has yet to express an opinion on whether he wants to be in an organization alongside confessed coin smugglers. He has conveniently announced he's not going to comment any more on her blog. Maybe the dealer will put a post ("what I think about coin smuggling and what active steps I take to keep smuggled coins from getting into the stock I offer my clients") on his own blog about this. We look forward to seeing it.

 * PS I think only one other defendant is an ACCG member, also at this point 'suspended'.

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