Auctioneer's license suspended
JANESVILLE An Evansville auctioneer plans to appeal a state suspension of his license for colluding with two people to bid up the price of a house, even though neither of the two had any intention of buying the property.
In addition to the license suspension, Dean K. George of George Auction Service must complete 12 hours of additional training, pay a fine of $1,000 and pay half the cost of his investigation and prosecution.
While the state Department of Safety and Professional Services' enforcement division charged Dean with five violations, the Wisconsin Auctioneer Board found he committed only one.
"This has been going on now for four years," George said Thursday. "Up until this point, I haven't had an attorney.
"Now I will get one, and we'll appeal."
The violation stems from a real estate auction in 2008 when George allegedly asked relatives of the sellers to bid on the house. One relative opened the bidding, and the other bid several times, according to the state order against George.
Both relatives said they had no intention of buying the house.
"(George) asked if we could help bid the house up … to get a better price for it," one of the relatives testified.
The board determined that George "knowingly escalated or attempted to escalate bidding through collusion with another," a violation of the state's administrative code.
It found no merit, however, in allegations that George:
-- Omitted terms and conditions for payment in an advertisement.
-- Enforced a contract not written before an auction.
-- Engaged in false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading billing practices.
-- Obtained compensation by fraud or deceit.
George said the basis of his appeal will be fraud on the part of the family to set up a civil lawsuit.
If it is upheld, this would be the second suspension of George's license.
The first occurred in 1996, when he and a brother confiscated cattle from a person who had not paid the brothers as agreed. George was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass, was placed on probation for 18 months and had his auction license suspended for six months.