Dozens of western Iowans and eastern Nebraskans who sold gold coins and jewelry at a traveling antique show earlier this month are learning the checks bounced. The Treasure Hunters Roadshow bought tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise during the show in the Missouri River town of Nebraska City, Nebraska, on July 3rd through the 7th.
Warren Myers, who hosted the event, says the company told him it would reimburse the customers. Myers says: “They told us, ‘Hey, everybody’s getting paid. You guys don’t have to worry about it. Just send us their information and we’ll cut ’em a check. We’re going to give them what we owe them and a little something extra for their time and for their bank fees.'”
Officials now say thousands of bad checks were written to employees, vendors and customers nationwide. The Roadshow is owned by T-H-R Associates, based in Springfield, Illinois. At the Nebraska City show, reports say the company wrote 94 checks, totaling more than 37-thousand dollars.
Amounts ranged from $15 to more than $19,000. Myer says he left the Roadshow after the Nebraska City show. He says the company stopped doing shows in June due to financial issues, but started again recently.
“The week after Nebraska City, the company sent out an email to all employees and told them to shut the shows down and go home,” Myer says. “The owner, Jeff Parsons, put a ‘stop payment’ on all checks from employees to venders to media.” To those people who sold their gold and other heirlooms to the company’s “appraisers,” he has some advice.
Myer says, “One of the things they can do, give all those bad checks to the state Attorney General’s office, let them build a case, have an arrest warrant out for them and make them come back to Nebraska City and answer all these charges.”
The Otoe County (Nebraska) Prosecuting Attorney’s office is taking complaints in the case at (402) 873-9044. You can also contact the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s office at 800-243-0618. Nebraska City is about 45 miles south of Omaha and is just across the Missouri River from the Iowa towns of Sidney and Hamburg.
By Nate Gonner, KNCY, Nebraska City