Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Year Resolved


Lead State


Participating States


Schuster, Jerrold; Szydlowski, Darek; Komsisky, Francis, Jr.


Felony Combination in Restraint of Trade–Schuster; Misdemeanor Attempted Combination in Restraint of Trade

Sentence Imposed

$50,000 restitution and criminal fines

Case Description

Jerrold Schuster, the former owner of the New Windsor Auction Gallery, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Orange County to Combination in Restraint of Trade, a violation of the New York antitrust law, a felony punishable by a maximum of four years in prison. Schuster ‘s former employees, Darek Szydlowski and Francis Komsisky, Jr., pleaded guilty to Attempted Combination in Restraint of Trade, a misdemeanor antitrust violation, which is punishable by up to one year in prison. As part of the disposition, Schuster paid $50,000 in restitution and fines. According to the criminal charges, Schuster, Szydlowski and Komsisky cast bids in over 1,100 of each others’ eBay auctions for the sole purpose of driving up the price of the merchandise that they offered for sale over a five-year period. The defendants were known by various e-Bay User IDs. in one auction, Schuster’s New Windsor Gallery “shilled up” by more than $7,300 an oil painting attributed to Hudson River School artist Ralph Blakelock (1847-1919). The high bidder paid $7,500 for the painting. Another purported Blakelock fetched $3,000, shilled up by more than $2,800. The Gallery shilled up its auction of an antique cloisonne vase by more than $2,500 ultimately selling for $3,250. Yet another bidder was overcharged $2,372, for art work he purchased in over thirty separate auctions.