Monstrous!: Dealer Allegedly Faked Horror-Flick Pics

Horror movie collectors taken for $1 million: Feds

By Alice McQuillan
|  Thursday, Apr 29, 2010  |  Updated 6:32 AM EDT
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Monstrous!: Dealer Allegedly Faked Horror-Flick Pics

AP

Classic 1931 horror film "Dracula" starred Bela Lugosi as the Count.

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This alleged fraud is downright scary.

Vintage movie posters of "Frankenstein," "The Wolfman," "The Mummy's Hand" and other classic horror films that sold for thousands of dollars were really fakes -- New York federal prosecutors charged Wednesday.

Collectors who thought that they were buying Lon Chaney Jr., Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and other legendary actors in all their frightful glory were ripped off and lost more than $1 million, authorities said.

Kerry Haggard, 45, of Commerce, Georgia, was charged with mail fraud for advertising and selling fake movie posters and lobby cards, prosecutors said.  He appeared on the charge in federal court in Gainesville, Ga, officials said.

"Kerry Haggard's purported fraud was a real-life horror show for his victims," said Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney. "[They] are allegedly out of pocket more than one million dollars."

Airbrushing and high-quality ink jet copying made these fake posters look like they came from the 1930's and 1940's, according to the complaint.  However the monstrous truth emerged when experts at places like Heritage Auctions examined the posters, officials said.

Although Haggard, who advertised and sold on eBay, is based in Georgia, New York prosecutors brought the charges because that's where the forgeries were printed, officials said.

Civil suits last year claimed that Haggard was peddling fakes -- a charge that he claimed was a "colossal frame-up," according to the New York Times

Haggard could not be reached yesterday, and a call to his defense attorney was not immediately returned.

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