Author Topic: Missouri Man Sentenced for Selling Fake Indian Art  (Read 2175 times)

Offline Diana

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Missouri Man Sentenced for Selling Fake Indian Art
« on: September 14, 2015, 09:18:43 am »
Thursday, September 10, 2015 :: Staff infoZine

An Odessa, MO, man who falsely claimed to be a Cherokee Indian was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for utilizing a fraudulent tribal identification card to sell his Indian artwork at fairs and on-line.
   
Kansas City, MO - infoZine - Terry Lee Whetstone, 63, of Odessa, was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah W. Hays to three years of probation after also pleading guilty Wednesday to the charge of misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods and products.

Whetstone is an artist who created and sold paintings and other artwork, representing them to be Indian produced. He sold his artwork via the Internet and at art fairs and events around the country.

Under the terms this plea agreement, Whetstone may not sell art during his term of probation unless he notifies buyers that he is not a member of an Indian tribe. Whetstone must take down his Web site and refrain from advertising or promoting his artwork in any fashion during the term of probation. Whetstone is prohibited from performing flute music publicly during the term of probation unless he notifies the audience that he is not a member of an Indian tribe.

On May 31, 2007, the Department of Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board received a complaint that Whetstone was using a fraudulent Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma enrollment card in conjunction with the sale of his products. The Cherokee Nation verified that Terry Lee Whetstone is not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Whetstone claimed on his Web site to be a Native American and a Cherokee artist. An undercover officer purchased a print of Whetstone’s “Endless Flame” artwork from his Web site in July 2013 and also received a brochure entitled, “Cherokee Artist.”

By pleading guilty today, Whetstone admitted that he knew he was not a member of a formally recognized Indian tribe.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roseann A. Ketchmark. It was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Offline AClockworkWhite

  • Posts: 194
Re: Missouri Man Sentenced for Selling Fake Indian Art
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 10:31:59 pm »
Looks like some good precedent, if you ask me. See that,  you lurkers out there? Better start rectifying your misdeeds and rewrite those bios ASAP. LOL You're going to be seeing more of this, guaranteed.
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 870
Re: Missouri Man Sentenced for Selling Fake Indian Art
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 07:34:28 pm »
Looks like some good precedent, if you ask me. See that,  you lurkers out there? Better start rectifying your misdeeds and rewrite those bios ASAP. LOL You're going to be seeing more of this, guaranteed.

My bolding in quote above. This looks promising:

Cherokee to crack down on fake Native goods

Passing off mass-produced tchotchkes as authentic Native American crafts could soon be illegal in Cherokee following Tribal Council’s unanimous vote to approve the Native Arts and Crafts Act last week.

The legislation, submitted by the Office of the Attorney General with support from outgoing Wolfetown Representative Jeremy Wilson, states that it will be unlawful to “offer, display for sale, or sell any good in a manner that falsely suggests” it is made by Cherokee people or by Native Americans.

“The purpose of this is to take action on things that are being sold here on the Qualla Boundary that don’t identify who we really are, and I think if we’re going to be making the attempt to strive for more cultural appropriation for us, and our identity, then I think that actions like this are to be needed,” said Wilson.

It is already illegal to dishonestly represent non-Native goods as indigenous creations. The federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act prohibits such actions. Nevertheless, the resolution accompanying the proposed ordinance stated, “these laws have not prevented inauthentic Cherokee goods and goods falsely purporting to be of other tribes from being displayed and sold.”

The ordinance was written in response to a resolution Wilson introduced in June, which Council then approved and Principal Chief Richard Sneed signed. The resolution directed the Office of the Attorney General to draft a “truth-in-advertising” law within 60 days of ratification that would prevent such misrepresentations.

The act lays out a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months of prison for knowingly violating it. Guilty parties can have their tribal business license revoked by the Business Committee.

“I’m hoping this helps local entrepreneurs,” said Wilson.

The ordinance requires ratification from Sneed to become effective.