September 20, 2012

ATLANTA, GA – The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection today announced that the Superior Court of Fulton County has granted its request to assign a court-appointed receiver to manage and control the assets of International Estate Brokers, LLC d/b/a Watch Brokers and d/b/a (“Watch Brokers”). Under an Order issued yesterday by Judge Cynthia Wright, the receiver, Christopher Tierney of Hays Financial Consulting, has already taken control of Watch Brokers’ offices and showroom and is assembling its inventory.

This action became necessary after it became clear Watch Brokers and its president Ronald L. Bergh III had failed to comply with a January 19, 2012 Consent Judgment alleging that the Atlanta-based wrist-watch brokering company and Mr. Bergh engaged in deceptive advertising, sold watches on behalf of consumers without paying consumers their share of the proceeds as agreed to prior to the sales, and failed to return watches that had gone unsold to the consignors upon request. That document required Watch Brokers and Bergh to pay restitution to 475 consumers in the amount of $651,258.92 and to pay a $20,000 civil penalty.  Not only did Watch Brokers and Bergh fail to pay the restitution or civil penalty, but consumers have lodged 52 new complaints about the company with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection since the settlement was filed in January.

John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, says: “The egregious acts of this company and its controlling shareholder, and their blatant disregard for the law, will not be tolerated.  Placing the company and its assets under the control of a receiver is a necessary further step to secure the payment of customer refunds, the recovery of affected property, and the protection of consumers who may have been bilked. We will take such further legal actions as may prove helpful in the interest of protecting consumers and compelling obedience to Georgia law.”