Brooklyn School Settles with REA

Bishop Ford Catholic Central High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., has agreed to pay $53,000 to Robert Edward Auctions to settle a lawsuit claiming the school and its representatives had gotten in the middle of the auction company’s attempts to collect a judgment against a former client.

Back in June, REA filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court against Ray Nash, the school’s long-time basketball coach, as well as John Casey, chief financial officer, the school itself and five others.  The suit claimed Nash had taken $52,551 from a school development fund to keep his son Peter’s home from going into foreclosure–money REA claims should have gone to them as payment toward a previous legal judgment of $760,000.  Peter Nash is the son of Ray Nash and is a long-time collector and baseball historian who once was part of the rap group 3rd Bass.

Early in 2009, REA had won the judgment against Peter Nash over part of a loan the company made to him in 2007 and unsuccessfully tried to recover.   Nash, the suit claimed, had used vintage baseball memorabilia as collateral, some of which REA says it later learned he didn’t own and others that weren’t able to be authenticated.

Not long after, the auction house says it discovered Nash had used collectibles as collateral for a $55,000 loan to repay the money his father took from the Bishop Ford account including some items “pledged or promised to REA as security for the earlier loans”.

The suit against the school also claimed that the parties were in violation of the laws governing such institutions by not reporting the money had been moved out of the charitable fund.

“The facts and documentation in this case speak for themselves,” REA president Rob Lifson said in a statement after the settlement. “It is our hope that REA’s bringing this unfortunate situation to light will result in regular audits of the school’s finances and that any additional ‘unauthorized loans’, as Bishop Ford has called them, if any, of charitable funds by Raymond Nash or others for the benefit of themselves or family members, will also be identified, exposed, and addressed. In this way confidence can be restored that the intended recipients of the school’s funds – the school and the student body – will receive the benefit of all future donations, and hopefully a greater good can come from REA’s ongoing pursuit of collection of its consent judgment in fraud against Raymond Nash’s son Peter J. Nash.”

Nash now writes a blog in which he claims to reveal unsolved thefts of legal documents and letters signed by past baseball legends from various  state and local entities and the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as fake memorabilia that has been sold in major auctions.  He’s also said to be writing a book.

According to REA, hundreds of thousands of dollars from the original judgment remains unpaid.