Regulatory Agency Puts High Profile Auctioneer In Deeper Trouble

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated May 26, 2010 at 5:38 PM EDT

AUBURN, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Long-time auctioneer Dean Kruse has been under fire for months, but now his business is in serious trouble.

That is the case, after actions taken by a regulatory agency to strip Kruse and his auction company of their licenses for years.

It’s not a pretty picture for Kruse or Kruse International.

The 68-year old Kruse, who for decades has been running a wildly successful Labor Day classic car auction in Auburn, is effectively shut down for the foreseeable future.

The Indiana Auctioneer Commission on Tuesday revoked the license of Kruse International for seven years.

Kruse had his personal license suspended for two years, and can't own any auction company for a minimum of five years.

It comes on the heels of more than 70 complaints filed with the state, most of them by consignors, who sold cars through Kruse, but weren't paid.

Assistant Board Director Katie Blackburn/Indiana Auctioneer Commission: " The state's priority and the commission's priority were to get the consignors that he still owed money paid. He has to submit quarterly reports to the commission, regarding his progress on paying back consignors."

In addition to the license problems he faces, Kruse and his company have been tagged with a total of $70,000 in civil penalties.

Kruse couldn’t be reached by telephone for comment.

We visited Kruse International headquarters late morning, but were told he wasn’t in, and staff didn’t know when he might return.

Kruse has claimed he's a victim as well.

He says he was stiffed by a number of car buyers at his auctions, to the tune of more than $6-million.

Because of the action taken against Kruse, it's not clear if the annual Auburn auction will even happen this Labor Day Holiday.

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