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Lee’s Summit businessman accused of stealing from piano, organ customers

Updated: 2013-11-26T01:18:55Z

By MARK MORRIS

The Kansas City Star

A Lee’s Summit man who operated two consignment shops for pianos and organs has been charged with stealing, felony deception and unlawful business practices, prosecutors announced Monday.

Jack Leon Piersee Jr., 49, operated Piersee Piano and Organ Inc. between 2009 and 2012 from two locations on Southwest Blue Parkway, according to the charges, which were filed Nov. 15 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Piersee offered to sell instruments for his customers while keeping a sales commission, the charges alleged. Instead, investigators found many instances in which Piersee sold the instruments and kept all the money.

In some instances, prosecutors alleged, Piersee told his customers that he was sending them checks, but they never arrived. He closed the shops in the fall of 2012 with about 70 pianos and organs still in his possession, the charges alleged.

“The defendant lied to his customers, falsely assuring them that he had mailed payment for the sale of their instruments,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a written statement. “Instead, he pocketed thousands of dollars from the sales and closed his doors without notice. This is stealing, plain and simple.”

Piersee could not be reached for comment. A telephone at his Lee’s Summit address was no longer in service, according to a recorded message.

Piersee already was facing criminal bad-check charges in Jackson and Cole counties when prosecutors announced the new charges.

In recent years Jackson County judges have assessed more than $160,000 in civil judgments against Piersee after a series of lawsuits alleged broken contracts and unpaid taxes, rent and other bills.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send email to mmorris@kcstar.com.

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