The Broken Sword: Deceit and Destruction in Florida
July 7, 2016
By Alicia Fong
From: Laura Hawkins [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 6:30 AM
To: Vermont Trotter
. We also just received the sword, it is magnificent !!!
In September of 2015, Vermont Trotter, a resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, sent a valuable historical sword to the Affiliated Auction house of Tallahassee, Florida.
He did so at their request.
The firm had been recommended to Mr. Trotter by a Robert Johnson of Lakemont, Georgia. Mr. Johnson’s firm, Germania International, specializes in the merchandizing of Nazi items such as silverware from the SS, personality items such as Adolf Hitler paintings and Nazi-era tapestries.
This presentation sword, which had been in Mr. Trotter’s family for many years, was valued by the Florida auction house at over $100,000 and was duly insured by them for that amount.
Accompanying the sword were original family documents and official American military documents attesting to the originality of the sword
A month later, the sword was returned to Mr Trotter, broken. Accompanying the broken sword was a signed letter from Mr. Willis, Tallahassee-based real estate lawyer for the auction house. Willis stated that the sword had been broken while at the auction house.
The auction house refused to reimburse Mr Trotter for the sword damage and also refused to return his family documents.
Finally, Mr Trotter contacted the Florida governmental office that was in charge of business permits for that state, setting forth his complaints against the auction house.
The investigator for the agency conducted a through investigation and filed a formal complaint against the auction house for violation of a number of Florida laws.
The state also forced the auction house to surrender the family documents to them and in due time, these were returned to Mr Trotter
Mr Trotter has finally obtained the services of a civil attorney and is in the process of filing a civil lawsuit against Affiliated Auctions.