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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    1

    Default Who Receives Rights to Stolen Good Unknowingly Purchased

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Iowa

    I attended a auction and bought a near new expensive riding lawn mower of the commercial quality brands. The item was suppossedly cleared with the dealer as having a good serial number and announced as such as the annual equipment auction for a reputable well established auction company here. The unit was also stated as having a transferrable warranty with several years remaining.

    2 days after I got this home, I proceeded to contact the dealer closer to me, and ask how to transfer warranty. Took the mower in for a minor service and he pulled the serial numbers. A deck number had been destroyed and removed. A main serial number on the mower appeared OFF, as in it was slapped on and taped over to hold it there. Not a factory looking serial number applied carefully and squarely onto the newly painted steel.

    A sheriff deputy from a county some 100 miles away contacts me 3 days after this - the unit has been impounded and he wants to know how I got the mower. The consignee information I had called the auction house for - was a known fence with quite a track record of criminal activity. I am cleared and have paper trail, gave statement, helped law fully.

    Will I have any rights to this expensive purchase - or do I demand my refund from the auction house who falsely represented this as a good clean used piece of equipment? I won't match the price or condition I paid at auction, but I'm not going to see this mower for a season anyway, even if I get a right to claim it. I have no idea if first owner was settled with by his insurance company, or would be first to claim ownership.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: Who Receives Rights to Stolen Good Unknowingly Purchased

    Quote Quoting riverbasin
    View Post
    I have no idea if first owner was settled with by his insurance company, or would be first to claim ownership.
    If the original owner had filed a claim with there insurance company due to a loss, and there insurance company paid the claim, the insurance company is the legal owner of the equpment.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,401

    Default Re: Who Receives Rights to Stolen Good Unknowingly Purchased

    Quote Quoting riverbasin
    View Post
    Will I have any rights to this expensive purchase - or do I demand my refund from the auction house who falsely represented this as a good clean used piece of equipment?
    You can read through the terms of the auction to determine if you have any potential claim or remedy with the auction house, or if you want approach them directly. If you have been acting promptly, perhaps you'll be lucky and they'll still be in possession of money belonging to the seller. (If it's worth the cost and effort, you can then file a lawsuit and try to obtain an order restraining the funds from being distributed, at least in an amount sufficient to reimburse you, pending the outcome of the litigation.)

    If the seller is prosecuted, you can also seek restitution through the criminal court.

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