New Orleans Auction Galleries (NOAG) [Tessa Seinkamp,
Jean Vidos]
Pre-Bankruptcy of April 1, 2011



Special Note:  In November of 2016, Tessa Steinkamp's residency qualifications entailing being eligible to serve on the LALB Chairman are challenged.




Brief Pre-Bankruptcy Background:


NOAG was owned by auctioneer Jean Vidos.   Meanwhile, LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp served as Vice President, Secretary, Director, and Treasurer until March 20, 2011 (11 days prior to bankruptcy filing).  Ms. Steinkamp was subsequently rehired soon after NOAG filed bankruptcy.  At bankruptcy, the following known problems and auction license law violations existed:


1.  Well over 40 consignors with balances exceeding $600,000 remained unpaid (even though funds SHOULD have been escrowed to cover their payments).

2.  NOAG was paying company operating expenses out of its consignor escrow account.

3.  Liabilities exceeded $5 million.  Included in that amount was $2 million owed to Susan Krohn.  Though Ms. Krohn would ultimately lose the vast majority of that $2 million, she did emerge as the high bidder for NOAG out of bankruptcy in late July of 2012 for a bid of $1.3 million.  The reason Ms. Krohn lost most of the $2 million (along with all the other unsecured creditors) is because NOAG had assets at the time of bankruptcy of ONLY $225,000.


 The Bankruptcy Period (4/1/11 - late July 2012):



June 20, 2011:


LALB Conducts Initial Discussions of NOAG Bankruptcy


LALB Executive Assistant Sandy Edmonds seems to trivialize NOAG consignor complaints.  Board Member (and LAPA President) Freddie Phillips' concerns over one consignor, Massoud Pouratian, having filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles in 2008 over paintings for which he bid $114,000 but were fakes and arrived with Christie's rejection stickers are brushed aside as "not relevant" by LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp.




July 18, 2011:


LALB Member (and LAPA President) Freddie Phillips Continues to Probe NOAG Problems


Board Member (and LAPA President) Freddie Phillips raises more concerns about the problems at NOAG, and the result is LALB Chairman Tess Steinkamp DIRECTLY threatening Phillips with "disciplinary action against your license."  LALB Executive Director Sandy Edmonds continues her vehement defense of Chairman Steinkamp




November 15, 2011:


  LALB Vice President Robert Burns GRILLS Anna Dow on Lack of Action on NOAG Owner Vidos


LAPA Vice President Robert Burns grills LALB Attorney Anna Dow over the lack of any Board action entailing NOAG owner Jean Vidos given that there were over $600,000 in unpaid consignors and company expenses being paid out of consignor escrowed funds.  While the LALB ignored all of those auction violations and the fact that, despite being Vice President, Director, and Treasurer of NOAG, LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp never informed the LALB of any of the problems at NOAG, the Board ultimately convened this hearing over one small technical error that Burns made.  Burns stated that a Motion to Disband the Unsecured Creditors Committee made by NOAG Attorney Stewart Peck was denied when, as of November 15, 2011, only an expedited hearing on the matter had been denied.  However, on April 1, 2012, the Motion itself was in fact denied.  Nevertheless, even with knowledge that the Motion had in fact been denied, in clear Mafia-like style, the LALB made it clear that, if anyone brings up issues that may adversely impact its Chairman (which the other Members SHOULD be questioning), the LALB makes it clear:  "We'll show you to question one of us:  Call the person (Burns in this case) in for a hearing!"




March 19, 2012, September 19, 2012, and November 5, 2012:


 Anna Dow presents Stipulation Agreement to LALB entailing Jean Vidos


LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp (NOAG Vice President, Director, and Treasurer right up to 11 days before bankruptcy filing), along with the LALB as a body (except Hal McMillin) mandate video blackout of the day's proceedings.  LALB attorney Anna Dow presents Stipulation Agreement for Jean Vidos, which the Board immediately rejects and instead votes to have Ms. Vidos appear before the LALB at an unknown future date to give an accounting of what all transpired at NOAG.   LAPA Vice President Robert Burns expresses pleasure at the Board finally taking initiative to recognize the long-existing problems at NOAG.  LALB former Executive Director Sherrie Wilks, LAPA Vice President Rev. Freddie Phillips and Board Member Darlene Jacobs-Levy ALL express concerns over the fact Ms. Vidos' license has been declined to be renewed (stated to be by "Board choice"), resulting in NOAG operating with no auctioneer held accountable.

At the September 19, 2012 LALB meeting, Ms. Dow makes the infamous statement:  "Ms. Vidos is not sure she want's a hearing."  At the November 5, 2012 Ms. Vidos said, "I'm not auctioning, so I'm opting NOT to go forward with a hearing."


CLICK HERE to see a chronological recap of the NOAG Corruption Train barreling its way through the LALB's scrutiny TOTALLY unscathed!!!!!!



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