The former Main Line antiques dealer who staged fake appraisals on
- and pleaded guilty to theft and fraud charges - is scheduled to be arraigned next week on theft charges in Bucks County and is now a fugitive.
Russell Pritchard III of Beach Haven, N.J., is facing 140 counts of theft and receiving stolen property. He is accused of taking about $40,000 in antiques from a Bucks County woman with a promise to auction them.
"She has never seen a dime," said David Zellis, Bucks County's first assistant district attorney. She gave Pritchard the objects in 2005.
Zellis said Pritchard, who is awaiting sentencing in a similar Montgomery County case, failed to attend the preliminary hearing in the Bucks case last month, and a fugitive warrant was issued. The arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 28.
Best known as an appraiser for the PBS series, Pritchard and a business partner had friends pose as amateur collectors while taping the show in 1996. They staged appraisals to lure customers to their military-artifacts business. They were subsequently banned from the show.
Pritchard made between $800,000 and $1.5 million on fraudulent transactions. He pleaded guilty in July 2002 and was sentenced to a year in federal prison.
His father, Russell Pritchard Jr., a former curator at the Civil War Library and Museum in Center City, was found guilty of federal charges of theft in the case.