Ore. AG Files Judgment Against Artist

January 26, 2005

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers announced the filing of a stipulated general money judgment and permanent injunction against an Oregon Coast wood artist, who allegedly took money from Oregon residents and tourists for specialty timber products and never provided the goods or refunds.

Named in the judgment filed in Lincoln County Circuit Court is John Lovell, formerly of Otis and currently of Rose Lodge, who did business as Forest Forms, Forest Forms Rustic Furnishings and Lovell’s. Lovell, also known as Jean Lovell, admits no law violation.

“Lovell impressed tourists with displays of his specialty timber products at various locations in Oregon coastal towns and on the Internet,” Myers explained. “Buyers had no idea that the hefty down payments accompanying their orders for ‘artistic’ log furniture would be pocketed by Lovell, who would never deliver the anticipated product.”

Investigators found that many of the victims had earlier filed private actions in Lincoln County small claims court, obtained default judgments and some had not been able to collect on the actions. Others had not received product or refunds nor had they obtained judgments. Lovell was given the opportunity to sign a settlement agreement and pay restitution to certain victims but he reportedly failed to do so. The Oregon Department of Justice sued Lovell in January 2004.

Under the judgment, Lovell is to provide $1,725 in restitution to four victims who had not received refunds nor had obtained private judgments against the defendant and who supplied affidavits for the court.

Lovell also must pay $7,000 to the Justice consumer protection and education account and is barred for the next five years from accepting funds or personal checks from consumers before delivery of product except in limited circumstances.

For example, he may accept notes or personal checks made out to third party suppliers that are not related in any way or connected by marriage or otherwise to the defendant. Lovell also is prevented for the next 10 years from advertising, soliciting sales or accepting orders from consumers for product over the Internet. He can, however, display his products on the Internet for prospective wholesale buyers with a clear and conspicuous notice that it is “not a retail Web site.”

Upon request, Lovell also must, within 30 days, provide Justice with a list of unfilled customer orders. Justice also has the right to extend the designated injunctive periods up to five additional years if the defendant does not comply with the judgment.

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