When we left off in part one of this saga Hedy had taken both the “Miss Congeniality” and “Mrs. New Jersey” titles in 2005 and then went on to be 2nd runner-up at Mrs. USA as well as the National Interview Winner. Now flash forward to the summer of 2007. While on a weekend wine tasting trip with friends, they happened to drive by a quaint little antique shop called “One of a Find” in New York. As Hedy passed the little shop, she asked her friend to turn around to go back, a pair of Italian statues out front had caught her eye. It was late in the afternoon on a Sunday so they didn’t expect that the shop would be open so they were browsing the items that were placed outside not intending to actually go inside.
While browsing outside, the door to the shop opened and a lady emerged, who Hedy would discover was the owner. Upon seeing Hedy’s interest in the statue she invited the ladies inside to look around. Hedy remembers the woman following her around and writing things down that she showed a taste for. They talked a little bit and at one point the owner asked Hedy where she lived. Hedy of course told her the area of New Jersey, and it was like a light bulb went off in the store owners brain. This was a person the owner definitely wanted to work with. You see, Hedy lived in a very affluent area of New Jersey and was very well-connected to key power players, such as Governor Corzine. Hedy’s town of Essex Fells New Jersey is consistently in Worth Magazine’s Top 20 Wealthiest Towns in America.
Hedy and the owner discussed a price for the statue, that had originally caught her eye while driving by, which the owner was asking $9,000.00 for. Hedy believed that this price a little much so the owner said she would talk with her husband and maybe they could work something out. Hedy and the owner exchanged email addresses, and Hedy along with her girlfriend were on their way.
Over the course of weeks to follow Hedy and the store owner exchanged emails back and forth. The owner had presented Hedy with an option that would benefit them both in regards to the merchandise. The owner was willing to stage two rooms in Hedy’s home for free for one year and at the end of the year Hedy would be given the option of purchasing the items at a discounted rate. Hedy couldn’t believe her ears! So, Hedy being a little leery about the situation spoke with one of her neighbors about the deal, who said that it was actually a very common practice for shops to do such a thing, it not only serves a purpose for the person wishing to purchase, but it gives exposure to shop providing the items.
So, Hedy agreed and a contract was drawn up. In the contract it stated that the shop would “stage” two rooms in Hedy’s home for one year and that at the end of the year she would be allowed to purchase at a discounted rate. The contract also required that Hedy write out nine checks in an amount just under $10,000.00 each, only to be deposited in the case any item might become damaged.
Hedy recalls the day the items arrived and were placed, in her words “it looked like Marie Antoinette threw up in my living room, but I loved it.” Shortly after the items were placed, Hedy believes one of her sons might have knocked over one of the “antique” lamps and cracked it. So, Hedy immediately took the lamp to an antique restorer for repair, it wasn’t cracked badly, so she believed she could have it fixed. Upon inspection by the antique restorer Hedy learned that the lamp was not in fact an antique, it was a reproduction. Now this is where gets “hairy,” the antique shop was valuing this lamp at $3500.00 and it was maybe worth only $35.00.
Well, Hedy decided that she no longer wanted to be in this contract, so she contacted the owner of the antique shop and requested release. The owner of course was not happy about this and at first denied Hedy’s request. Upon hearing from Hedy’s attorney, the owner did ultimately allow Hedy out, but only because Hedy had offered to pay for the removal and deliver of said items. Incidently the moving of antiques is very costly and time-consuming and requires special movers and equipment. Unfortunately though, Hedy did not schedule the delivery soon enough. Within days of being released from the contract, the owner of the shop deposited all the checks that Hedy had given her to be held in case of damage! I know what you’re thinking “OH MY GOD!”
Hedy, at the time of deposit, did not have the funds in the account for those checks to clear, so we all know what that means. As each one of the checks began to bounce, the owner of the shop went to the police department and filed charges against Hedy! Can you believe the audacity of this woman? $72,000 of the $81,000 in checks written, bounced. Hedy had no idea they had even been deposited or bounced. She utilized a number of bank accounts and did not bank online. The timeframe from the deposit, bounce and raid on the home was all within 5 days!
Early in the morning of October 2007 Rocco, Hedy’s six-year-old son, woke her up because somebody was at the door. Turns out it wasn’t just “somebody,” it was the Official Corruption and Economic Crime Unit executing an arrest and search warrant! Hedy was arrested without incident and her mug shot was actually taken of her in her home. The officer actually showed her the first one, taken while she was speaking to him, and said “Woah..haha…delete on that one!” and proceeded to take another. The one he claimed to have deleted of course became quite famous, the news had a blast putting that picture which looked as though she was drunk up next to her beauty queen photo with the caption “The Fall Of A Beauty Queen.” The unit which consisted of 5 DA’s and 26 cops spent five hours in her home that day cataloging everything that was being returned to the antique shop in the moving truck they had brought with them! Now Hedy being the woman that she was took this all in stride. She even went as far as ordering boxes of Dunkin Donuts and coffee for them. This unfortunately backfired on her because one of the officers gave a statement to a local paper saying “she had coffee and donuts for all of us, she clearly knew we were coming.” I have one word for that officer “Jerk.” Hedy was charged with “Theft by Deception” (fraud in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree.) Her bail was placed at $250,000.00 and within hours of the arrest she was released. Can you imagine the nightmare of all this happening to you and in front of your children?
Stay tuned for the continuation of this saga…
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