Prosecutors have charged a La Crosse antiques dealer and reality TV star with felony theft for failing to deliver the proceeds from two estate sales.
According to a criminal complaint, one victim told police he contracted with Robert Jones, owner of Time Was Estate Sales, to sell his mother’s estate in November 2014 in exchange for 35 percent of the proceeds.
The sale occurred at Time Was, but a year later the victim hadn’t received any money and Jones hadn’t responded to his requests to return unsold property, according to the complaint.
Another victim told police that Jones had conducted an estate sale in September for his mother but had failed to pay him. The victim later found several boat motors and more of their mother’s belongings at the store on Main Street.
Jones told investigators he owed about $4,000 to one family and $3,000 to another but had used the money to pay other bills. He said he would return all the victim’s property still in his possession.
Jones, 48, was charged with two counts of felony theft in a business setting. He did not respond Tuesday to a call seeking comment.
He is the co-founder and choreographer of the Grand River Singers, a community show choir that gained fame in 2013 when it was featured in a VH1 reality TV series. A veteran of Disney World, Opryland and Carnival Cruise Lines, Jones has performed in numerous community theater productions.
According to Tribune files, Jones started the estate business nearly three decades ago in Illinois. It has occupied a storefront at 506 Main St. since 2014.
Note: The story has been updated to correct an error in the list of companies Jones previously worked with.