Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hanky Panky Hank Lee - charged with Credit Card fraud

 Harry P. Levy faces 20 years charged with fraud and lying to investigators

A huge story polarizes the magic industry as Hank Lee's Magic Factory owner Harry P. Levy was taken into custody for Credit Card fraud, this shortly after pleading guilty to stealing over a $561,927.00 dollars from a wealthy client who is believed to be 50 year old British born entrepreneur Richard Garriott

R.G. an amateur of magic is also known as a pioneer in many other directions. Most known as a leading computer game developer, and programmer. Developing one of the most popular home computer game series of the 1980's. The gaming series was called "Ultima" in which he digitally inspired a whole new generation in adventure gaming. Richard is also credited for creating the term M.M.O.R.P.G. Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games. It should also be noted that Mr. Garriott has always been fascinated with space, and space travel, and in 2008 was the sixth civilian in history to travel to space as a tourist. A ticket costing 30 million dollars which equates to around $484,000 dollars per mile.

In 2010 Richard Garriott hosted a DVD filming at his home in Texas for the Richard Turner live lecture DVD which Hank Lee Magic Factory carries. 

- An Excerpt from the DVD states: A Tribute to Richard Turner "Dueling Card Sharks" and "The Cardmen's Get Together"

Join retired gaming regulator Bruce Samboy and his camcorder in this wonderful tribute memorializing Steve Forte's hosting of Paul Wilson and Richard during an impromptu afternoon of playing card mastery. Additionally, you can join in on Richard’s gathering of the most respected card mechanics and magicians in the country including Steve Forte, Jason England, and Ron Conley.
Richard Garriott and Asa Spades Turner
Be a guest at the fascinating home of space traveler and video game creator Richard Garriott as he hosts Asa Spades's fourteenth birthday party. Garriott shares and demonstrates many of his one-of-a-kind treasures.

 Mr. Garriott certainly has worked very hard to earn the respect, and admiration of a generation. Inspiring gamers, other developers, programmers, and pioneering a unique way to interact, play, and shifting gaming in a new direction.

I am highly disappointed to see not only Garriott, but many other enthusiasts allegedly taken advantage of over so many years by Hank Lee's magic factory. It is a Black eye to the industry as a whole, and a disgrace to the Gentleman of magic who work very hard to bring joy to the world. It is clearly an unfortunate situation all around.

After, the news, and talking with many store owners they have seen a steep drop in sales. Clearly, not only has this news affected those involved directly, but has also affected the industry's revenue as a whole. The future of Hank Lee is uncertain, what I do know is that it doesn't look good. Levy, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

Actual Court Documents can be Viewed here: Hank Lee Court Papers

UPDATE: Hank Lee released a statement:

A Special Message From Hank Lee:
Greetings from me, Hank Lee.
I suspect that by now you have read the reports of the government’s charges against me. I have agreed to plead guilty to these charges. Although the charges allege misuse of a customer’s credit card, I am writing to assure you that Hank Lee’s Magic Factory has since adopted procedures to insure the safety and privacy of our customers’ information.
I was wrong in every way, and now I will face the consequences. I could not possibly be more sorry for my behavior.
My actions have deeply impacted my family. And, I know that they have impacted you, our customers and friends. While we have tried to build a base of trust over the last 37 years, it has been seriously damaged, and must now be rebuilt.
If there is a brighter side, Hank Lee’s Magic Factory is not just about me. It is about our long time employees who are here every day and could not be more honest, forthright and knowledgeable. These people can be trusted, 100%. They have been with Hank Lee’s for more than 20 years each and have impeccable records, both in life and in the workplace.
In the past day, I have received many emails and notes. Most are from people hoping that the present situation resolves itself quickly and wishing me the best in this difficult time. Some are from people who do not exactly wish me well. This is to be expected. I appreciate all correspondence.
This is what I can tell you right now. Hank Lee’s Magic Factory is not in danger of closing. We will continue to accept your orders, process them and ship them as always. I hope that you will continue to place orders with the Magic Factory, and allow me to rebuild your trust in us.



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