Unscrupulous business dealings have led to felony stealing charges for a Lee’s Summit man.
Jack Piersee, owner of the now defunct Piersee Piano and Organ, faces criminal charges including multiple charges of felony stealing and unlawful business practices.
According to a complaint filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, Piersee, of Lee’s Summit, is accused of two counts of felony stealing, and nine counts of felony deception and unlawful business practices.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, whose office is assisting Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker in the case, announced the filing of the charges Nov. 25.
Koster’s press secretary, Eric Slusher, said in an email that charges were filed Nov. 15 and that Piersee was arrested Nov. 19 on the warrant. No date has yet been set for Piersee’s arraignment, Slusher added.
Piersee operated two piano and organ consignment store locations in Lee’s Summit; one at 806 S.W. Blue Parkway and a previous location at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway. Between 2009 and 2012, Piersee entered into consignment agreements with customers, offering to sell their pianos and organs for a sales commission.
According to a press release from Koster’s office, 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 Lee’s Summit locations in the fall of 2012 with approximately 70 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,” Koster said in the release. “That is stealing, plain and simple.”
Piersee is facing fines and five to 15 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.
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.