• Report: #737428

Complaint Review: Michael DuBasso

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 06, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, August 30, 2012

  • Reported By: John — Berkeley California United States of America
Michael DuBasso
1337 Cordell Place Los Angeles, California United States of America

Michael DuBasso American Philatelic Foundation, Rarities International Corporation Breach of contract, counterfeit stamps and tax fraud Los Angeles, California

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Setting the Record Straight

*General Comment: Last Comment (#11)

*Consumer Comment: More on Mr. DuBasso

*Consumer Comment: Slight Correction

*Consumer Comment: This Report Is True

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: ALLEGATIONS ARE FALSE

*Consumer Comment: I want to help your case.

*Consumer Comment: I tried to post my email address but it is against the rules here to do so.

*Consumer Comment: I can help you! Below is my e-mail address.

*Author of original report: @Randall

*Consumer Comment: I can help YOU with your Case Versus Dubasso

*Consumer Comment: Now THAT'S

*General Comment: I have information that may help your case!

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A few years ago I inherited my grandfather's stamp collection but having no philatelic knowledge, I had no idea how much it was worth and wanted to have it appraised. I came across the American Philatelic Foundation owned and directed by Mr. DuBasso which was advertised as a non-profit agency that appraised stamp collections for a small donation and since he was not a dealer he had no incentive to cheat you.

In Oct 2008, I contacted Mr. DuBasso and he requested that I take some scans of the stamps to see if it would be worth his time to appraise them. I emailed him the scans of the stamps and he replied "Looks good, the examples you sent me ran from hobby to better and I do recommend an appraisal; send the boxes to APF Appraisal Center 1337 Cordell Place  L.A. CA 90069 Send using my FedEX account if you want as I can bill you for cost later, maybe deduct any cost from a sale if you decide to sell." I put the collection (over 1000 stamps divided among 10 albums) into a box and sent him the stamps.

After a short while he sent me an email with his appraisal - "Morning, finished your appraisal over the weekend. I have set aside $4500 in better items from the various albums and the balance has a value of $500 to $1000. Let me know if you wish me to place the stamps with our customer base. Sincerely,  Michael DuBasso/Director APF". I then asked him how the sales process worked if I was interested in selling.

He replied, "We offer the collection to our customers or place in auction (with a reserve) We do not accept offers under our appraised value." I then told him that I was interested in selling and asked him to confirm the appraised value of the collection. He replied, "Hi, I'll start showing your collection. If successful you should get net $5000 to $6000,  Thanks always,  Michael." Without notice I received a check in the mail for $500.00 from the Rarities International Stamp Corporation also owned by Mr. DuBasso.

Nov 2008, I emailed Mr. DuBasso to confirm that the collection had sold and asked him if he would be paying me the rest of the money in increments of the total amount of $5000-$6000. He replied "Hi, this was for the hobby part (bulk) better items are still left,  Michael." For the next 16 months, I kept emailing and calling him and he continually replied that "things are very slow, still no additional sale, will keep trying,  Michael."

Without notice, I received an envelope from Mr. DuBasso containing 7 stamps one of which was a 1915 Bushire stamp that he appraised to be worth $4500 but "needs cert[ification]." I took those 7 stamps to a local stamp dealer and within minutes he determined them all to be counterfeits. He also explained to me what "needs cert" meant. Apparently there are real experts who will appraise stamps for a fee and then issue a certification which is used to ensure that stamp buyers don't get ripped off by counterfeit stamps.

I filed a claim to the BBB and his response was "I never guaranteed selling anything it is not Foundation policy. The customer is using her own words to twist it her way. Ask for all Foundation original correspondence. I am not a stamp expert and only use the basic catalog for referance. I don't have access to my correspondence but if she sends you the original appraisal there is no warantee to sell everything." Since I am not female and have a very common male name it was obvious that he was beginning to confuse me with someone else he scammed. After providing all the evidence I found that since he was an accredited BBB business they still gave him an A rating and essentially ignored my complaint.

I then filed a small claims suit for the amount of $5000 and went to court. Before the trial began he offered me a $6000 tax deduction if I donated the stamp to his non-profit agency which I declined. In court he stuck to his claim that the stamp was authentic and that if I sent the stamp to the Philatelic Foundation of NY and they certified it to be authentic he would give me the full amount he owed. I then asked for a continuance and agreed to send the stamp in for certification.

90 days later they certified that it was a counterfeit stamp and a very common one at that. He then again, even after it had been certified counterfeit, offered me the $6000 tax deduction! After speaking with IRS tax agent they notified me that it would be considered tax fraud and I would get seriously penalized if I submit a fraudulent tax deduction so we went back to court.

While preparing for court, I found that the American Philatelic Foundation entity was suspended and that Mr. DuBasso's ebay seller id was listed in the Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers Hall of Shame for selling counterfeit stamps. I went to court with the new evidence as well as his written offer of a fraudulent tax deduction and won the case.

Unfortunately, in the State of CA defendants can file an appeal with no cause and get a new case. The new trial begins in August and even if I win the second trial I am not guaranteed to be able to recover the money! But I am committed to falling this through and spreading the word so that no one else falls for his scams. I am also trying to get the DA to file criminal charges. If anyone has any information that might help, please let me know. Thanks!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/06/2011 12:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Michael-DuBasso/Los-Angeles-California-90069/Michael-DuBasso-American-Philatelic-Foundation-Rarities-International-Corporation-Breach-737428. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 10Consumer 2Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Setting the Record Straight

AUTHOR: Michael DuBasso - ()

I wish to set the record straight on these complaints. The original complaint filed by John Manuel Johnson was over an issue he had with us relative to the amount of money the Foundation helped him by selling his stamps. In his case it was sellers thought he did not get enough money a common occurrence when one inherits a collection but has no knowledge of its true value. Even sophisticated collectors when the time comes to sell their collection feel "cheated" even when consigned to a reputable auction house! As to the his remarks regarding forgeries having dedicated fifty years of my life to this hobby all collections and I have appraised thousands have fake stamps. Fake stamps were made in the 19th century for those collectors who could not afford a genuine copy. Some are so good they fool even the experts. As to the court case he describes (the appeal), my CPA came to court to explain to the judge our nonprofit ID # was incorrect by accident when he filed a return for the Foundation but was in the process of being corrected. The judge replied he was in favor of ruling in the Foundations favor but due to the technical glitch of a wrong ID number had no choice but to award the plaintiff. I recently Goggled the name John Manuel Johnson and lo and behold what came up/ please do the same!

Now please a word on Michael DuBasso and the Foundation. I have dedicated my life helping others in this hobby. The Foundation supports all the Veterans wounded warriors by giving them collections donated to us so as the recuperate (in bed) they can have something to occupy their painful recovery. When Disney Stamps or animal stamps are donated to us we in turn donate them to all the "Make A Wish Foundations throughout America.

If you Google Michael DuBasso aside from this false report you will find his book about stamp collecting very informative and a best seller in its category. Also please Google his name and Foundation in the web site City Search for all of the pleasant comments posted online. Lastly most of the added comments in this report are from attorneys seeking to gain money. Please use common sence if the allegations were true the Foundation would have been shut down. The allegations are false.

citysearch.com/profile/78502/west_hollywood_ca/american_philatelic_foundation.html

thestampbook.com

americanphilatelic.com

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#2 General Comment

Last Comment (#11)

AUTHOR: Quit Lying! - (United States of America)

I wish I knew who you were #11.  I would love for you to get in touch with me.  You should try to reach jvsgal at gmail dot com.  The reason is because there are people who would be interested in that story-especially if you still have the fakes.  Did you ever file your story with IC3.gov?  That is an FBI website and if any of the contact was through internet, that is where to file.  Also, if US Postal service was used, file with the USPS in your area.  It's never too late to report and think about sharing your information with that person.  There is a lot they could share with you too.
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#3 Consumer Comment

More on Mr. DuBasso

AUTHOR: KRB - (United States of America)

My family had dealings with Mr. Dubasso in 2008 and 2009 over a very very large collection of stamps.  We did realize several thousand dollars in the sale of the bulk of the stamps.  But we were al suspicious of how much Mr. Dubasso's "Non Profit" organization was getting.  In the end we were down to several dozen stamps that Mr. Dubasso said needed to have experts in Paris look at. In his opinion he said they were worth upwards of $70K.  He took the stamps to Paris and returned several months later saying that they were counterfeit.  He promised for months that he would send the stamps and info on how they were counterfeited.  Eventually I got the stamps but to this day never any info.  I made photo copies of the stamps and sent them to a expert in Dallas who in less that 10 minutes told me they were fake.... and bad ones at that.  SO... If Mr. Dubasso was a big expert why did he have to take them to Paris?  I have my thoughts on why they went to Paris. 

Stay away from this guy.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Slight Correction

AUTHOR: Quit Lying! - (United States of America)

It was not the author who appealed, it was the defendant, who so boldly stated the author was lying.  The author won the appeal and was awarded...I should have stated, the Author won though the defendant appealed the original ruling.
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#5 Consumer Comment

This Report Is True

AUTHOR: Quit Lying! - (United States of America)

This report is accurate.  Having looked up cases through the court online, there are several losses for this individual.  I also have first hand knowledge of his tactics as I have a similar story.  If you have been taken by this man, contact your local FBI (they have satellite offices in most areas).  If there is a string of emails and most was done via internet, you can file your complaint with the FBI via IC3 and remember it is .gov and not .com after IC3.

Look in the thread and find Randall.  He can get you in touch with me.  Do NOT take tax write-offs as part of a settlement.  It is illegal and the IRS will give you a heavy penalty if you do it.  Do not settle for less than what your collection is worth...it is not fair this individual can use the trust of average people and rip them off.

Most of all, do not give up trying to collect what is yours.  Con men and bullies win by intimidation and making it difficult to get what is yours back.  Don't buy into the fact that you sent it and you can't do anything.  You can!!!  REPORT IT!!!  The police are reluctant to do anything, but there are other agencies...the FBI, the DA, Atty General, Civil Court-though you have to travel to Los Angeles and that makes it difficult...oh, according to the online court documents, the person who filed this case, WON on appeal!!!!  YES, he WON!!! 

Maybe people are foolish to trust someone supposedly respectable in the field for over 30 years, but that does not give that person a right to steal something that is not only valuable monetarily, but also emotionally.  It is the same as walking into someone's house and stealing a piece of fine jewelry or art that was passed down through generations.
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

ALLEGATIONS ARE FALSE

AUTHOR: Michael - (United States of America)

In response to Mr. John Johnson aka John Manuel, the allegations are false. This case is pending in court and has not finalized. Should you have any question of my reputation I am happy to furnish personal references. My nonprofit Foundation works with both Make A Wish Foundation and Veteran Hospitals throughout the US.
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#7 Consumer Comment

I want to help your case.

AUTHOR: Randall - (USA)

I use gmail. 1968 would follow my name. Let me know if you can figure it out.

Thanks,

Randallsmith
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#8 Consumer Comment

I tried to post my email address but it is against the rules here to do so.

AUTHOR: Randall - (USA)

I tried to post my email, but the mod won't allow contact information. I'm not sure what to do since I don't want to post in a public forum unless it is our last resort. What about facebook?
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#9 Consumer Comment

I can help you! Below is my e-mail address.

AUTHOR: Randall - (USA)

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#10 Author of original report

@Randall

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

Hi Randall - how can I get your contact information?  Appreciate the help - thanks!
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#11 Consumer Comment

I can help YOU with your Case Versus Dubasso

AUTHOR: Randall - (USA)

I have information that will help your case.  I know Mr. Dubasso.   I have historical information that will help your case.  I need to contact you though to relay this information to you.  I will not post in in a public forum.  Please let me know how to contact you or I can give you my contact information. 
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#12 Consumer Comment

Now THAT'S

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

a real SCUMBAG!

Sorry, but don't send your stuff to people like that.  Would you have sent him cash?

Good Luck!
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#13 General Comment

I have information that may help your case!

AUTHOR: Randall - (United States of America)

John,

How can you be contacted? I'd like to help your case.
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