Ah, tourists! They're so fun to rip off, what with their shorts on the subway and their adorable insistence that pedicabs are totally normal forms of transportation. The newest tale of tourist trickery hails from a Manhattan antique shop, where employees allegedly tricked a visitor from Ohio into purchasing over $1 million worth of presumable valuables that, unsurprisingly, weren't really that valuable in the end. On the bright side, though, the shop is getting sued.
The Post reports that 68-year-old Priscilla Janney-Pace, a retiree who hails from Yellow Springs, Ohio, was sold a number of small figurines she spotted in the window of Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques on West 57th Street. Janney-Pace was allegedly told the figurines were 17th-century Japanese figurines called "Netsukes," and worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.
According to court documents, she bought a few, then came back a month later for a few more. And so the staffers believed they had found a true sucker: they started soliciting her for more fancy things via email, phone and even personal visits, and allegedly tried to sell her so-called carvings "made from woolly-mammoth tusks."
Eventually, though, Janney-Pace's daughter smelled a rat and had some of the "antiques" appraised. And, surprise! They were Chinese reproductions worth about $100,000 in total—Janney-Pace, though, had spent over $1 million on the shams. "The defendants engaged in a series of egregiously fraudulent sales to an elderly woman, in which the defendants lied about the origin, age, quality, and value of what they claimed to be antique ivory and jade drawings," Janney-Pace's lawyer, Paul Cossu, told the Post.