Former ‘star’ appraiser surrenders to cops

The sad saga of Russ Pritchard III continued in late December 2007 as the former Antiques Roadshow personality officially skipped town while awaiting arraignment in Bucks County, Penn., then subsequently turned himself in when his flight garnered national attention.

Pritchard was arraigned on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. His bail was subsequently set at $250,000. Pritchard posted the bond and was released on his recognizance.

His trial is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Pritchard’s downfall has been well documented in both the antiques and national media. The latest chapter is the most lurid yet and saw him bolt on charges that could easily add up to life in prison if his terms were not served concurrently.

A fugitive warrant was issued shortly after Pritchard fled.

Pritchard, currently listed as a resident of Beach Haven, NJ, first entered into ignominy in 2000 when a spotlight on his dealings showed that he had orchestrated fake appraisals on the Roadshow to try and get more face time on TV. He was quickly kicked off the popular program, and it was not long after when his more serious criminal activity came to light.

Before his travails, Pritchard had earned himself a reputation as a high-end antiques dealers, a military expert, auctioneer and appraiser via his business, Bryn Mawr Auction Company, LLC. Now he can add fugitive from justice to the list, along with convicted criminal.

Before he ran, Pritchard was due to face 140 charges of theft and receiving stolen property in Bucks County. Pritchard allegedly took roughly $40,000 worth of antiques from a resident of Bucks County – a well-known antiques haven – to sell at auction. Pritchard took the antiques, but never paid the consignors.

His crimes are felonies, as is his flight. Each of the 140 counts he is to face are punishable with up to seven years in prison.

It is thought that the crimes Pritchard was awaiting sentencing on were just the topper to what made him run. He was also awaiting sentencing on a guilty plea he had entered three months ago in nearby Montgomery County, Penn., where he made more than $1M on fraudulent deals.

The jail time that Pritchard faces would not be his first stint behind bars. In 2002 he pleaded guilty to fraud charges concerning Civil War antiques and was sentenced to a year in prison. He served nine months of the sentence, as reported by his current attorney, Craig Kellerman. He was ordered to repay his victims more than $800K, but has not paid any back at this time.