Home > Art, crime > Beware the art scam

Beware the art scam

[From the inbox.]

Hi all,

I have just found out that an operation called Conservation and Wildlife Film Festival is planning to hold an event in Eureka on November 12-14 of this year and is soliciting entries on their website and Facebook page. This is a total scam.

The guy who runs it, Christopher Gervais, previously ripped off many wildlife painters and sculptors by collecting entry fees for wildlife art shows that either were cancelled or were totally mis-represented to the participants. Almost no one was refunded their money. Gervais just keeps it and threatens them with legal action if they pursue it, which scares everyone off.

It’s almost certain that any wildlife film maker who deals with him will have the same thing happen to them. There was apparently some kind of investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General, but no charges were filed, more’s the pity.

Now he’s back trying to do the same thing, only this time with film makers.

He saw my comments on the Julie Chapman blog listed below and made a threatening phone call to me, pretending to be someone else. He’s a nutjob, besides being a crook.

Here are the links to his website and Facebook page:

Here are some links to back up what I say:

He is also listed as Confirmed on the private Scam Advisory List which is compiled for the benefit of members of Artists for Conservation.

We do not need this guy mucking around in our neck of the woods. Please forward this on to whoever you feel should see it.

Contact me if you have any questions or need more information.

Cheers!
Susan Fox

  1. Walt
    September 13, 2010 at 5:39 am

    It does look spurious. The program for the only show with an address is riddled with typos. The world is full of sharks and barracudas.

  2. September 13, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Thank you Susan!

  3. Mr. Nice
    September 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Is this dude Ken Roth’s brother?

  4. FoxStudio
    September 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I have no idea, but I seriously doubt it. He appears to operate from the East Coast.

  5. September 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Someone just sent me this link a couple of days ago because he thought some of the filmmakers I work with might be interested. I had no idea it was a scam. Thank you so much for this information.

  6. lumpy
    September 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

    thanks!

  7. September 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I just heard from a friend who is involved with the venue Gervais tried to book locally. Fortunately they had not signed a contract or accepted any money (assuming that any was forthcoming). They got the word via someone who saw this post. Thank you sooo much, Heraldo! You’ve saved some local people a lot of hassle and helped put a crimp in the slimeball’s operation.

  8. September 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for including the Herald in your email alert!

  9. September 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    It’s pretty obvious at this point that, love you or hate you (maybe the latter especially ;0)) that your blog is the must-read for what’s going on around here. Couldn’t think of a better or more timely (which definitely leaves out the local “daily” rag) way to get the word out to people who might care or be able to do something. And…ta da! It worked.

  10. Eric Kirk
    September 16, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Ironic that I should be asking this, but aren’t there laws against this sort of thing?

  11. September 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Of course there are. Fraud that crosses state lines, for starters.

    But the problem has been to find an AG who will prosecute. Multiple complaints were filed with the Pennsylvania (where Gervais appears to have his residence) AG last year by artists who had been ripped off when they signed on for his wildlife art shows. Supposedly there was an investigation, but no charges were ever filed. If anyone has any suggestions on how to go about getting legal action going against him, I’d love to hear it and will pass it on.

    I’ve not personally been a victim (other than the sleazy phone call), but it really frosts me to see fellow artists being ripped off and then verbally intimidated into just shrugging and letting it go.

  12. comicreleaf
    September 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    check out the links on his webpage, some appearing to be fellow scamsters, http://www.trustforwildlife.org/
    lol

  13. aroyis
    April 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Susan, How does one contact you? I have a phone “interview” scheduled for 15 minutes from now…

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