The battle over the bones of the insolvent John Rogers photo archives continues to narrow down to specific assets.
First Arkansas Bank & Trust of Jacksonville has called the Arthur Rickerby Collection onto the firing line.
The lender hopes to winnow out the claims of two Rogers creditors from California: Mark Roberts of San Francisco and David Hoffman of Santa Cruz.
The secured claim of First Arkansas was filed in December 2011 and predates the secured claims of Roberts (2012) and Hoffman (2014).
The bank has a judgment against Rogers that is somewhere north of $16 million and climbing.
Roberts alleges that Rogers knowingly sold him scores of counterfeit vintage baseball photos during 2006-10. The counterfeit claim is confirmed by FBI examination, according to his complaint.
The lawsuit seeks $2 million from Rogers, his Sports Cards Plus Inc. and related ventures.
The son of George Roberts, billionaire financier and co-founder of private equity firm KKR & Co., Roberts operates the National Pastime Museum, a website for displaying his collection of baseball memorabilia.
Hoffman is trying to collect $80,000 owed on the $325,000 sale of his namesake video and photograph archive in May 2012.
Striking a Deal
Rogers finalized a deal in April 2005 to buy the collection of photos and negatives from Rickerby’s widow for $300,000.
Wanda Rickerby carried $175,000 of the sale and was shrewd enough to hold onto the Kennedy prints and other valuable pieces until Rogers paid her in full.
The Rickerby Collection originally consisted of about 192,393 prints, slides and negatives, some in color and some in black and white.
The known pieces of the collection identified by the court-appointed receiver, Michael McAfee? About 3,300 scanned images and 200 photos, negatives and prints.
More of the Rickerby Collection could be among tens of thousands of unlabeled photos, negatives and prints.
Some of the Kennedy material remains under McAfee’s care, including an image of President John Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, shortly after their arrival in Dallas aboard Air Force One on Nov. 22, 1963.
“Is it the original negative?” McAfee said. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
Rickerby worked at Life magazine from 1960-72. He was 51 when he died.
Some might recall that 120 Rickerby prints acquired by Rogers were put on exhibit in eight galleries and restaurants in downtown North Little Rock March 25-30, 2013.
The “JFK: Fifty Years Later” exhibition was launched at North Little Rock’s Old Post Office where Gov. Mike Beebe gave a rendition of Kennedy’s famed inaugural address that clocked in at under 14 minutes.
In 2006, Rogers was giving interviews claiming annual sales of $3.2 million.
Around that time, his then-wife, Angelica, portrayed his business ventures as “carefully calculated risks.”