LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A granddaughter of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is suing Julien's Auction House LLC, alleging memorabilia belonging to the onetime Las Vegas mobster was wrongfully sold to a bidder without her permission despite a warning letter from her attorney warning that the sale was unauthorized.
Cindy Rosen's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Wednesday also names as a defendant businessman Jay Bloom and his two companies, Murder Inc. LLC and The Mafia Collection LLC. Rosen says she loaned the photos, clothing, home decor, home movies and handwritten letters and other collectibles to Bloom for his Las Vegas show, "The Mob Experience," before it went bankrupt in 2011.
Rosen's suit alleges conversion of property, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, intentional misrepresentation, financial elder abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit, which states that Rosen was "at least 65 years old" at the time of the events, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
"Defendants' conduct caused plaintiff to lose a large sum of money that defendant had represented plaintiff would receive and that she was relying on to help fund her recent medical bills," the suit states.
Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien's, issued a statement Thursday regarding the lawsuit.
"No other than the items we sold were bought by Cindy from the consignor," Julien said. "We sent the invoices to her, but she continues to say the items were stolen. It's not a lawsuit that will go anywhere."
According to the suit, Rosen repeatedly asked Bloom to return her property after the bankruptcy, but the parties instead agreed in August 2020 to a $60,000 sale of the items.
The consummation of the sale was delayed by Bloom's alleged poor communications and Rosen, who had significant health issues, obtained an agreement from Bloom in December 2021 to pay her the larger sum of $125,000, the suit states. Rosen advised Bloom that she wanted the memorabilia back if he could not pay and she later asked for $130,000 so as to include interest, the suit states.
Last April, Bloom told Rosen that the items had been sold, but advised the plaintiff that she would still be paid, according to the suit, which further states that the plaintiff learned that Julien's had obtained the memorabilia and planned to auction it on Bloom's behalf.
Despite receiving a letter from Rosen's lawyer warning Julien's not to sell the items, the auction house did so anyway last August, according to the suit.
"Bloom's representation of himself as the rightful owner of the memorabilia, and Julien's auctioning of the memorabilia, despite being on notice that it would be unlawful to do so, were deceitful and this conduct was undertaken with the intention of deceiving the public as to the true ownership of the memorabilia," the suit states.
Rosen has suffered "severe and ongoing emotional distress," according to the complaint.
Siegel was shot to death at age 41 in a Beverly Hills home in June 1947 and his killing remains unsolved.