Note: We are still updating this story as more information comes to light from sources in the collecting community and our site’s sources in the criminal prosecution community.
The U.S. Marshals seized a large original vintage Kenner collection during an investment fraud investigation which is now being auctioned off. You can bid on the collection at Gaston and Sheehan and the bidding ends on 6/1/2021. The collection contains a large assortment of original Kenner Power Droids or “gonk” droids, even including original Kenner production blueprints for a gonk droid, and an original mail-away Boba Fett from 1979 still in the mail-away packaging. According to one of our sources, the collection belonged to a well-known focus collector in the vintage Star Wars community named Chris Hibbard. Hibbard was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison, with 3 years of supervised release in December, 2020 for investment fraud.
Chris Hibbard was indicted for one count of investment fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.
According to a plea agreement, on or about February 9, 2007, and December 20, 2008, Hibbard made dozens of wire transfers from the brokerage account of a Louisville resident in the total amount of $1,226,995. Hibbard admitted to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he had misappropriated and used a substantial portion of the client’s monies for his own personal use. After nearly exhausting the funds in the account, Hibbard presented the client with fraudulent brokerage statements that were used to lull the client into believing the account contained as much as $4 million.
In addition, between January 10, 2011, and December 20, 2017, Hibbard initiated over 300 unauthorized ACH transfers by wire in interstate commerce from client accounts under his management to an American Express account controlled by Hibbard. Hibbard caused the transfers to be made without the knowledge, permission, or other authorization of the account holder(s) thereby misappropriating and embezzling more than $3 million in client monies and using the funds for personal expenditures. In order to effectuate his scheme to defraud, the Defendant engaged in unauthorized trading and liquidation of clients’ investments, made unauthorized withdrawals from client annuity accounts, and committed acts of forgery. –United States Department of Justice
Hibbard was a collector who focused on collecting Power (“Gonk”) droids: