November 25, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced the filing of criminal charges against Jack Piersee of Lee's Summit, owner of now defunct Piersee Piano and Organ. According to the complaint filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, Piersee is accused of two counts of felony stealing, and nine counts of felony deception and unlawful business practices. The Missouri Attorney General's Office is assisting Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker in the case.
Piersee operated two piano and organ consignment store locations in Lee's Summit. Between 2009 and 2012, Piersee entered into consignment agreements with customers, offering to sell their pianos and organs for a sales commission. An investigation by the Attorney General's office found numerous instances of Piersee selling instruments on consignment for thousands of dollars and keeping the sale proceeds for himself.
Without notice to customers, Piersee closed both locations in the fall of 2012 with approximately seventy instruments remaining in his possession. Piersee told numerous customers that he had sold their instruments and was sending their checks, although many never received payment.
"The defendant lied to his customers, falsely assuring them that he had mailed payment for the sale of their instruments. Instead, he pocketed thousands of dollars from the sales and closed his doors without notice," said Koster. "That is stealing, plain and simple."
Piersee is facing fines and five to fifteen years in prison on the two Class B felony counts of stealing, and up to four years in prison on each of the nine Class D felony counts of deception and unlawful merchandising practices.
As in all criminal cases, the charges are merely accusations and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
Koster said that the Attorney General's office has been working with the building owners of Piersee's two former locations in an attempt to return instruments to their owners. Consumers should contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-392-8222 if they believe their instrument was left behind when the defendant closed his business, or if they never received payment for an instrument Piersee claimed to have sold.