On the heels of federal officials charging a Pennsylvania auction’s owner and general manger with fraud against charities, the National Auto Auction Association — of which Gettysburg Auto Exchange is not a member — has come out and expressed its disgust at the alleged crimes, while also emphasizing that the accused do not represent the “immense integrity” shown by NAAA members.
As reported late last month in Auto Remarketing, Gettysburg Auto Exchange owner William Stake and GM David Burk are accused of swindling charities — which were selling donated cars through the auction — out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a scheme allegedly perpetrated with fake bills of sale.
The pair allegedly listed the sales prices as being lower than they actually were, allowing them to pocket money that was supposed to have gone to charity.
“Even though this Pennsylvania-based business does not belong to the NAAA, we of course were deeply disturbed to learn of these unfortunate allegations which, if proven, demand serious punishment in the interest of our entire industry and the customers we serve,” stated NAAA chief executive officer Frank Hackett.
“NAAA membership requires strict adherence to a clearly defined, comprehensive Code of Ethics, which specifically includes a commitment to the exposure and cessation of any scheme designed to deceive or defraud,” he emphasized.
Hackett went on to add that NAAA has a “rigorous disciplinary procedure” for any members, officers or directors whose actions are detrimental. This allows NAAA to ensure and uphold its code and standards.
“Membership in NAAA is a valuable hallmark to possess in our industry, and it’s up to us to safeguard the respectable reputation and principles it represents,” Hackett said. “As a NAAA member, auctions know they’re entrusted to conduct business in a fair, equitable and consistent manner, and are happy to comply with our policies to maintain that seal of approval.”
NAAA has recently been working to create standard industry principles and practices, crafting things like a uniform electronic condition reports, an arbitration policy, national certification and auction block announcement standards. NAAA has also worked to boost education, training and leadership development programs.
“Our goals with standardization and professional development are to ensure conformity with the NAAA Code of Ethics and to enhance customer service through greater understanding, trust and confidence among auctions, buyers and sellers, that ultimately benefits everyone,” Hackett noted.