WatchBrokers seizure reveals many unsecured watches - Fox 2 News Headlines

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

WatchBrokers seizure reveals many unsecured watches

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

WatchBrokers was a high-end timepiece consignment shop that has been seized by the courts. If you've had dealings with WatchBrokers, that means the courts might have your missing watch.

The take-over, urged along with the state's consumer protection group, is the first ever of its kind. Until Friday, the store held hundreds of expensive watches.  Many of the expensive watches were not secured. An investigator says security was so sloppy it would have taken maybe 10 minutes to get inside and loot the place.

"And once I got in here, two of the safes were open," said court appointed receiver Chris Tierney.

Chris Tierney's team, under orders from a Fulton County judge, seized custody of WatchBrokers. It wasn't hard to do.  Once inside the glass door of the high end consignment shop, the keys lay next to the security gate and behind the doors of unlocked safes were many name brand watches -- Breitlings, Omegas, Raymond Weil, Cartier, and Tag Hauer to name a few.

The number of expensive watches could number in the hundreds.

"We're going to insure this for $2 million, just because I'm going to be conservative because I just don't know what I have," said Tierney.

Lying around were letters from lawyers, furious customers and the Department of Revenue. But also there were clues -- already-labeled FedEx parcels that might lead investigators to some of the watches' rightful owners.  

"I'm hoping that once we have access to the records, we can match up everything in the safe with some inventory records on the system and figure out who actually belongs to what," said Tierney.

The time piece dealer's building sits on coveted real estate.  Now it's dirty with cobwebs, roaches and rodent traps.

A year ago, locked cabinets held some of the finest watches anywhere. For more than a year the I-Team heard from angry customers who say WatchBrokers sold their watches for them but refused to give them their money.   

In January, the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection got an unprecedented agreement with the company president that he would be held financially responsible if they didn't start returning money.  

"Number one, we can bankrupt it, run and hide and put our tails between our legs. Or, we can go to the governor's office and say it's a mess," said WatchBroker's president R.J. Bergh in January.

Now, he's hard to track down. So the state, in another first, took drastic measure to close down a business.

"The kind of parasitic conduct which we have uncovered simply has no place in the marketplace in Georgia," said John Sours of the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection.

If you go to the company's web site, it has been taken over by the court. On the site is contact information if you are trying to locate your watch or to get your money.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • RAW VIDEO: I-Team's undercover visit to Boggs Mountain

    RAW VIDEO: I-Team's undercover visit to Boggs Mountain

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:43:54 GMT
    Trial is set May 12 in Rabun County for a case uncovered by the Fox 5 I-Team that continues to trouble animal lovers across the country. Lowanda "Peanut" Kilby faces 60 counts including theft by taking, theft by deception and racketeering.
    Trial is set May 12 in Rabun County for a case uncovered by the Fox 5 I-Team that continues to trouble animal lovers across the country. Lowanda "Peanut" Kilby faces 60 counts including theft by taking, theft by deception and racketeering.
  • Identity Protection Bill Signed into Law

    Identity Protection Bill Signed into Law

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:28:15 GMT
    With a stroke of the governor's pen, a new law that could help protect your identity now goes into effect. Republican State Senator John Albers says his bill, now law, will prohibit public disclosure of private information in court documents.
    With a stroke of the governor's pen, a new law that could help protect your identity now goes into effect. Republican State Senator John Albers says his bill, now law, will prohibit public disclosure of private information in court documents.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices