Does a Lexicon DC-2 for $2100 sound too good to be true? (long) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 10-05-2000, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Note: 10/11/00 - On the advice of an attorney, I am editing my posts throughout this thread to read "alleged perpetrator" where I have used other, more colorful terms, so if the posts read strangely, you will understand why.

Bob


Yep, it sure is too good to be true, and I am living proof of it. I must be the most stupid person on the face of the planet, as I have been scammed for $2100 (I'm sure X-Stick will enjoy this).

Just to refresh everyone's memory, I'm the one who posted a sad story once before about a bad deal on a projector I bought from a guy on Ebay. For those who would like to read about that story, just read this:
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/002906.html

Well, Howard Wear, the guy in the other thread, looks like a saint next to this last "alleged perpetrator". I have been interested in upgrading my equipment to separates, and a Lexicon DC-2 was my pre/pro of choice. I looked for the best deal I could find, and I spotted an auction on audioweb.com that filled the bill. See this:
http://www.audioweb.com/Ad/AdInfo.asp?adid=67116

I bid on the auction and noticed that the "reserve" price had already been met, so I decided to email the seller to see how much he wanted on a straight sale of the unit. This was his reply:

"Bob,

My DC-2 is in MINT condition and is less than 1 year old. I would be
willing to end the auction and sell it outright for $2,100, which is less than 1/2 of what it sold for new. If you want it, let me know and I will cancel the auction.

Sincerely,

Mark Weber"

I decided that $2100 was a great price for a DC-2, so I emailed him back and told him that I wanted the unit. Here was his response:

"Hi Bob,

Done deal. I believe that you are wise to go for Lexicon, instead of B&K. Don't get me wrong, B&K is great equipment and I was running a B&K amp for my rear channels, but I believe that Lexicon builds superior equipment and maintains re-sale value better than B&K.

You are right about getting a good deal too. I'm not sure why, but bidding on ANY audio equipment is very slow right now. It will probably pick up in late November through Christmas, as it did last year, but for now it is slow.

You can either send me a cashiers check or money order and I will ship it out immediately, or you can send a personal check, and as soon as it clears my bank, I'll ship. If you are registered with PayPal and have had your information verified, you could also make a credit card payment through them, but I think they limit transactions to $2,000 a month.

Let me know how you'd like to handle this, and I'll pull the auction. If you'd like to call me, you can reach me at (888) 277-9716. I work for myself from home, and you can reach me pretty much anytime. The phone is answered Phone Services, which is my company name.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I know you'll love the DC-2."

Now here's the third email:

"Here is my mailing address: Mark Weber
8600 North MacArthur Blvd.
#114 - PMB 190
Irving, TX. 75063

Please include your shipping address along with your check. I will cover the shipping charges and send the DC-2 U.S.P.S. priority mail insured, if that is acceptable to you.

I hope you enjoy the Dc-2 (well actually I know you will), and I thank you for your purchase. I will let you know when your check arrives and the DC-2 is on it's way to you, along with an anticipated delivery date and the tracking number."

And here is the FINAL email:

"Bob,

I received your check today and will ship tomorrow. Please let me know when you receive it. Thank you for your purchase and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Sincerely,

Mark"

From this point on I have gotten ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from him, nor been able to reach him on the phone, nor has he answered any emails, but he has certainly cashed my check. I also found out that the address I sent the check to was a mail drop (not a home or business address), and the 2 phone numbers I have seem untraceable. His email address is mailmark@earthlink.net, but Earthlink will not divulge any info as to who this person is. My local police department told me that the matter is out of their jurisdiction, and the Post Office also has no interest, even though I sent the check certified mail.

I am telling this story just to vent my frustrations and to give everyone a big warning: DO NOT TRUST ANYONE ON THE NET, REGARDLESS OF HOW HONEST AND NORMAL THEY MAY APPEAR!! I printed his emails just to show everyone what a great guy he seemed like. He called me and chatted for an hour about high end audio and home theater, and he was as knowledgeable as anyone in this forum, so I felt that I was pretty safe. This is why he is called a "confidence" man (con man for short).

I don't think that there is a thing I can do about this situation, but if anyone knows how to trace an email address or phone number to its source, I would be interested in knowing. Other than that, I am out $2100, and I am now also out of money, so the Lex will have to wait.

Please, everyone, learn from my lesson!! Don't get taken the way I did.

Thanks for listening to me,

Bob




[This message has been edited by Bob Sorel (edited 10-11-2000).]
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post #2 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 04:58 AM
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Bob,
thats awful. I think you should contact your police department to see if theres anything you can do. you might also want to contact your states attorney generals office of consumer protection.

- Jerry
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post #3 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 05:04 AM
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Audioweb profile of seller:
Member Information
Member Name: mlweber
Name: Mark Weber
Phone: (972) 373-0200
Fax:
Email: mailmark@earthlink.net


Feedback Summary
Year Month Week Overall
Positive: 0 0 0 0
Neutral: 0 0 0 0
Negative: 1 1 1 1
Rating: -1 -1 -1 -1

Members can leave feedback for another Member more than once but only the most recent rating is used in the rating summary and in computing a Member's overall rating.



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Art's and my buddy Steve Bruzonsky! And Oneobgyn if I ever make it to NorCal!
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post #4 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 10:02 AM
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Bob,
of course- sorry about that. you could contact those agencies in the state where he is located... I wish you a speedy resolution. Padron my language but, this sucks!

- Jerry
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post #5 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 10:37 AM
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I hope you get this guy! Just an idea. Contact the IRS and let them know he has undeclared unearned income. Maybe the IRS can find him for you!!

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Top Home Theater's I hope to see: The Bland's
Art's and my buddy Steve Bruzonsky! And Oneobgyn if I ever make it to NorCal!
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post #6 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 11:16 AM
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Don't you think the least we can do for this wonderful businessman is run up his toll free phone bill? (888) 277-9716. Start dialing everyone and leave whatever message for him that feels right.

Carl
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post #7 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 12:27 PM
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I'm nearly in tears for you Bob, it really goes to show you that try as you might there is no use in trusting anyone. I have been fortunate thus far in my online dealings, but there have been a couple of occasions where I could have been taken just as you were. I feel your pain. -Dave
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post #8 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for all your support! You know, the day after I sent this guy my check, Don O'Brien, who is a well respected member here, had offered to sell me his DC-2, as he was upgrading. Just to show you how timing is everything, if I had gotten the email from Don a day earlier I would have bought his unit without a second thought, and I would have felt much more secure about the transaction because I have known Don from this forum and I know I can trust him. I guess it just wasn't in the cards.

Carl, I thought about doing just as you suggested. I was going to set up my old 56k modem to "war dial" his answering machine over and over again, but I have caller ID blocking on my line. Mark Weber has a countermeasure set up that refuses any connections from "anonymous" callers, which is the way that my line appears to people with caller ID. I have to wonder what he would think to get calls from all over the country leaving him random messages....hehe.
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post #9 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 01:48 PM
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Bob,
I was shocked as I read your post. Frankly, I could not believe the BS this guy put you through. I appreciate your kind thoughts. I hope you will be able to upgrade in the future.

Don O'Brien

Cheers,
Don O
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post #10 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 05:55 PM
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Boy does this post hit close to home. I recently purchased a used DC-1 from someone at audiogon.com. He sounded just like the con artist in Bob's situation. He gave me a phone number to call and we spoke for a while. We agreed on a price of $1750 plus shipping. I asked him over the phone if it was version 4 and fully loaded. He said yes. SO I sent out $1800 thinking the whole time that I don't know this guy from a whole in the wall and I'm sending him $1800. My wanting of this excellent piece of equipment prevailed over logic. I did receive my Lex but it did not have DTS, to me that's not fully loaded.( I just upgraded to DTS for another $500)Also, the person that sold me the Lex would not return my calls or emails. It's very hard to be 100% careful in dealings over the Internet, but I'd say the majority of the people buying and selling are honest, or I'd like to think so. I hope your situation has a good ending.
Ira



[This message has been edited by isolo (edited 10-06-2000).]
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post #11 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 06:17 PM
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Bob, sorry to hear about your misfortune (remembering that you had asked about the DC-2 I was selling..)

I'd say your best bet is to make contact with someone who lives in Irving, Texas, and maybe they can help you out.

B.
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post #12 of 38 Old 10-06-2000, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Jerry, local police have said that it is out of their jurisdiction, as did my state's Attorney General's Office. I have been told that because it crossed state lines, it is a Federal offense and under the jurisdiction of the FBI. I am currently in contact with them to see if anything can be done.

Mark, if you check the feedback, you will see that the one negative comment is from me, with just a short note about the scam. I figure that this guy changes names as fast as he changes phone numbers and email addresses, and who knows if he really is from Irving, Texas. I tried locating similar names on Ebay, but I haven't come up with a match as yet. BTW, if you call the number listed on the summary, it is his real voice on the answering machine. He has big balls, doen't he?

[This message has been edited by Bob Sorel (edited 10-06-2000).]
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post #13 of 38 Old 10-09-2000, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Gee, Ira, it sounds like the person you dealt with was similar to the guy I dealt with except that my guy didn't bother to send anything at all! Even if he had sent me a DC-1 stripped down, I could have recovered a portion of my money.

Brian, I guess any other deal I would have chosen would have turned out better than this one! That's what happens when you try to own a piece of equipment that is above your budget, so you just go with the most attractive price.

There is some light at the end of this bleak tunnel, though. A few of the guys over at HTF are helping me track down all of Mark's Internet dealings and we are contacting other people that he has stiffed. These guys are very savvy with the Internet, and Mark has left a really wide open trail, and when we gather sufficient evidence to put this guy behind bars (and we have TONS of evidence already, awaiting subpoena), we victims are going to approach the FBI as a group and request that this person do some serious time for his offenses. One way or another, WE WILL GET HIM!
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post #14 of 38 Old 10-10-2000, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Rick (above) and I are now working together to try to do something about this "alleged perpetrator". The most I can do right now is to warn others of this "alleged perpetrator", so I will ask for help on this matter. I have already posted a couple of times on rec.audio.marketplace, but newsgroup postings don't last very long. Is it possible to set up Agent or any other program to automatically post the same message, in several newsgroups, let's say once a day on a continuous basis? I have a cable modem attached to the net 24 hours a day, so if this could be done, I would try to put Mark out of business as much as possible and try to stop him from robbing others.

[This message has been edited by Bob Sorel (edited 10-11-2000).]
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post #15 of 38 Old 10-10-2000, 11:41 PM
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I had somewhat similar experience - fellow selling camcorder, but couldn't produce bill of sale (said his seller lost it), then on multiple quizzes said he lost booklet and remote.

I insisted on i-escrow; he on paypal only. I stood firm,a nd he hasn't replied since. Frankly, I don't want to force a deal with a disreputable person; not worth the risk.

I RECOMMEND EVERYONE USE AN INDEPENDENT ESCROW AGENT - SO IF GOODS NOT SHIPPED, OR IN POOR CONDITION, OR MISREPRESENTED, YOU CAN RETURN AND GET $$ REFUNDED. Understanding seller will split fee; if not, still worth it. Paypal and other agencies are just money conduits; have no protection about goods themselves. Nor will most credit card firms, esp if "something was shipped" and it turns out to be of poor quality, missing or broken aspects, etc.

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post #16 of 38 Old 10-11-2000, 12:02 PM
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Hello Guys,

Sorry about all of this. I live in Denton TX, 76201.

I would be happy to help.
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post #17 of 38 Old 10-11-2000, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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On the advice of an attorney, I have edited my posts throughout this thread to read "alleged perpetrator" where I have used other, more colorful terms, so if the posts read strangely, you will understand why.

Bob
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post #18 of 38 Old 10-11-2000, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, guys, I have located and joined forces with a third victim, who also got scammed on a DC-2 ad from Audiogon.com for $2245.00. It seems like he won the auction in September and has sent Mark a check and recieved nothing, an almost identical case to mine. Audiogon.com is aware of the scam and I will be contacting them for further assistance. I don't want to release the details of his dilemma, but I have invited him to join the forum and post here if he sees fit. We can add this to the indictment.

Bob

Here is another update:

A few minutes ago I recieved a reply from the editor of Audioweb.com and he wrote me a very friendly and helpful note expressing great concern over this matter. Apparently he was out of town for some time and just recieved my email and responded as soon as possible. I am very happy to know that this organization takes the auctions and ads seriously and is doing its best to protect the interests of its members. This is a far cry from the apathy and misguided protocols employed by Ebay.



[This message has been edited by Bob Sorel (edited 10-12-2000).]
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post #19 of 38 Old 10-12-2000, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, people, believe it or not, there has been some good that has fallen on me despite the tragic events that have transpired. After reading about my terrible experience of being swindled by an unscrupulous person over a private sale on the Internet for $2100 for a used Lexicon DC-2, a high end manufacturer graciously offered to help provide a happy ending to a painful experience. A purchase that would have been out of my reach was made possible through the generosity of a compassionate and extremely well respected manufacturer of audio components of the highest quality. After feeling so low, I'm now elated to know that at least one high end audio company is run by people that can and do make a difference on the human side of the business. My heartfelt and deepest gratitude goes out to them.

With best regards,

Bob Sorel
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post #20 of 38 Old 10-12-2000, 04:50 PM
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Bob!

I'm shocked at this thread, and feel for you! It's nice to see that some good has come of this pile of crap that you have had to go through! Nice to see the support on this forum for you and the other unfortunate victim's of this crime! If possible post a note on your new pre/pro so that we can look at supporting the people that are helping people.



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post #21 of 38 Old 10-12-2000, 04:53 PM
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Bob,

That is great news! I suppose that if you had wanted to do so, you would have posted the name of this gracious benefactor already. I'm dying to know. Perhaps they have their reasons, but for me, grassroots goodwill goes a long way. I'm glad to hear that things have taken a good turn for you.

"Being unable to assume an initial premise with any tolerable degree of accuracy, I am loathe to assert a conclusion fearful lest I should err."
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post #22 of 38 Old 10-14-2000, 09:09 PM
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune Bob. I've used i-escrow with success but it does take some time for a transaction using them. Paypal does now offer fraud protection on transactions as well as creit cards.

good luck
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post #23 of 38 Old 10-20-2000, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like Mark Weber is into much bigger things. My little $2100 scam is just chump change to an "alleged perpetrator" such as himself. As it turns out, he is a real pro, not just some amateur who decided to make a few bucks. I should consider myself privileged for him to have given me about an hour of his time for a measly $2100. Gee, I even have his autograph on the back of my returned check http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
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post #24 of 38 Old 10-22-2000, 08:07 AM
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Bob:

About a year ago, someone tried to scam me over the Internet as well.

I always make a habit of checking out the phone number of the seller before proceeding. In this case, the seller had a 'phone service'. I called information in his area checking out the business name he had given me and there was no listing for it.

To make a long story short, I was able to determine he was definetely trying to scam money from me.

He lived in a small town in PA . As there is no police department for that town, I contacted the State Police nearby.

I briefed a Trooper on the whole story and he didn't seem to know how to proceed. I suggested he call the FBI for assistance as the 'crime' would have been between states and in the FBI's jurisdiction.

I put together all the emails I had received and sent them off to the State Police.

I then put the experience behind me and moved on.

A few months later, I got a call from the FBI. They had followed through with the information I gave the state police and arrested the scam artist! He had ripped off other people with the same scam.

It was an incredible feeling to know that not only was I lucky enough not to have gotten ripped off but the perp <not alleged> was in JAIL!

The best advise I can offer anyone purchasing from strangers, is to check out their phone number first. If they are using an answering service and do not have a listed business address or personal address, don't send them any money in advance.

I'm glad things worked out. I'd contact the FBI if I were you.


Mark


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post #25 of 38 Old 10-23-2000, 10:42 AM
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Update on who Mark Weber isn't. http://www.f1today.com/news/newsitem.asp?item=8562

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post #26 of 38 Old 10-25-2000, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Whew! I feel much better about this now http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I've been telling everyone privately what a great guy Buzz is for helping me out with this terrible situation and how nice it feels to know that there are some people out there who care. I am thrilled to death about getting the new Tag McLaren AV32R pre/pro, which is a better unit than the Lexicon DC-2 that I was supposed to get! He has won me over as a customer for life, and as I get back on my feet financially, I plan on buying the 100x5R power amp (or maybe there will be a 100x6R or 100x7R in the near future....hint, hint http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ). The help that Buzz has offered me is an act of kindness that I will never forget, and keeping quiet about the events that have transpired has been torture for me, but I respected Buzz's wishes to remain silent. As everyone in this forum knows, I am not exactly the type of person to keep quiet about anything, so I am sure a lot of you wondered what was the deal here. As a result, I answered a ton of private email, but waited until now to post publicly. I have an EX equipped AV32R on order, and as soon as it arrives, I will be sure to post all the particulars about this excellent piece of gear. Many heartfelt thanks go out to Buzz Goddard, president of Tag McLaren Audio!

[This message has been edited by Bob Sorel (edited 10-25-2000).]
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post #27 of 38 Old 10-25-2000, 11:28 AM
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Congratulations Bob, it is nice to know some good came out from the pain you had to go through!

Buzz... well that is what I call service above and beyond the call of duty my hat is off... and when the upgrade bell comes a ringing I will for sure check out the offerings from your fine company...

thanks
Miles

ps I am still a huge Ferrari Fan http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
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post #28 of 38 Old 10-25-2000, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mwan:
ps I am still a huge Ferrari Fan http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

This was a good year to be a Ferrari Fan! And, at the end of the day, if you are at all into F1 (and you must be), then you have an appreciation for the extreme technical sophistication these guys bring to the party. So that's OK? Hey, you're not a NASCAR fan! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/cool.gif



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post #29 of 38 Old 10-25-2000, 01:24 PM
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Buzz, I was curious about your pre/pro before, but it just went to the top of my short list.

p.s. I was a big fan of Bruce McClaren in my teen years.
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post #30 of 38 Old 10-25-2000, 02:04 PM
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I got ripped off on eBay too.

Now where's my McLaren pre/pro?? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Bob, I hope this incredible turn of events/act of kindness does not make you give up on finding the scum who took your money!

Bryan
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