Former car auctioneer Kruse faces theft charge

Former classic car auctioneer and auction house owner Dean V. Kruse surrendered to northern Indiana authorities Aug. 31 to face a theft charge.

Dean V. Kruse file photo

According to reports, the felony charge comes out of Pennsylvania, alleging that Kruse never paid a man $38,000 for selling an antique hearse.

The Herald Republican of Angola reported that Kruse, 69, was released that same afternoon from the DeKalb County Jail in Auburn after posting a $5,000 bond. He had appeared in court earlier.

The Herald Republican relayed that Kruse’s attorney, Margaret Grimm, asked DeKalb Superior Court Judge Kevin Wallace to release Kruse on his own recognizance, calling him a respected “pillar of the community.”

“This matter in Pennsylvania is dealing with a corporate thing which Mr. Kruse is not personally liable for,” Grimm said. “We will be proceeding with a vigorous defense of Mr. Kruse.”

DeKalb County chief deputy prosecutor Donald P. Shively told the judge he was opposed to Kruse being released on his own recognizance, but that he would accept whatever the court decided, the newspaper reported.

Court records indicate Wallace agreed to release Kruse, set a $5,000 bond and ordered him to remain in the United States pending an Oct. 28 extradition hearing.

Earlier this week, a Pennsylvania court issued a warrant for Kruse’s arrest after Dauphin County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint Aug. 29 accusing Kruse of theft.

Pennsylvania court records indicate Kruse is charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds. The records allege that in October 2008, John Bosk transported a 1919 Sayers and Scoville Hearse to the Hershey Auto Auction for sale.

Bosk contracted with Kruse International for an auction and sale, with Dean Kruse as the auctioneer. The selling price was $43,000 and Kruse took a 10 percent fee for selling the car.

The complaint alleges that Kruse never paid Bosk the $38,000 he’s owed for the sale.

The allegation is the latest legal trouble for Kruse, who has been sued repeatedly in recent years for business practices that include not releasing funds to vehicle consigners or vehicle titles to purchasers. Last year, Indiana suspended Kruse’s auctioneer’s license and stripped his former Auburn-based auction house Kruse International of its license.

Kruse hosted classic car auctions for nearly four decades in Auburn, about 130 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Auctions that he staged each Labor Day weekend drew tens of thousands of visitors who watched bidders compete to buy rare and classic autos, including cars once owned by Clark Cable, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.


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5 thoughts on “Former car auctioneer Kruse faces theft charge

  1. Dave

    You story about Cruise should also include that he is still auctioning cars in Indiana under a new auction house name. He and his wife are on the board of directors. People need to know this, as this person has stole millions of dollars from people and also has ruined the lives of many dealers who he forced into backruptcy due to not paying out on their sold vehicles. Please pass this along to the journalist that wrote this story and ask him to tell the people the rest of the story.It is your duty since you spammed thousands of people with this very incomplete story. I will be watching for a followup story. If there is no followup I will advise my data base of over 90,000 contacts in the hobby.

  2. CPWalter

    Sad to see a once respected member of the antique vehicle family fall on hard times and resort to making stupid decisions that will not only tarnish his reputation but may land him in jail.

  3. Phil

    These guys are nothing more than a “Used Car Salesman” not to be trusted. I as at Harrare’s auction in 84 and he was a crook than. He is no different than the others.

  4. Jim Athens

    This man is a crook. I sold 3 cars at one of his auctions…it took 4 months to collect my money. I had to have my attorney send him letters and i called 3 times a day. He just doesn’t care about anyone and he is a liar and thief.
    He deserves to go to jail for being a thief.


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