Elvis Presley's socks at center of criminal case

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

ROSWELL, Ga. - A Tucker man faces charges he promised to help a woman sell an authentic pair of Elvis Presley’s socks on eBay, then stole the proceeds.

The alleged victim told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik she bought the pair from an Elvis enthusiast.

“He had gotten them from Jimmy Velvet, who had purchased them through Elvis’ ex-girlfriend, Linda Thompson,” said the Roswell woman, who asked not to be identified, told Petchenik.  “They look to me to be worn.  They have some of the original fibers.  She had taken them out of his drawer, so from the wash they had a couple of original fibers on them.”

The woman said when she decided to sell the socks, she hired Bill Martin to help her.  Martin runs a company that assists people  selling items on eBay and Craigslist.

“I called him and he said he absolutely could do this and I sent him pictures, and he e-mailed me back that a woman in Germany was offering $2,000 for the socks,” she said.

The woman said she met Martin last summer and gave him the socks, but never received the proceeds.

“ I kept calling him and calling him,” she said.  “He said he hadn’t had the money yet and he wasn’t released of the money, nobody picked up the socks, etc.”

A few weeks ago, Martin turned himself into Roswell police to face felony theft charges.  Petchenik tracked him down to his Tucker office to ask him about the allegations.

“The people have never picked it up,” he said of the socks.  “I still have the letters showing it’s sitting in a post office in Germany.”

Martin faxed Petchenik a copy of the tracking log to Petchenik.  It shows the item was “being held” at a location in Germany because the buyer hadn’t picked them up.  Martin said he was paid for the item, but wasn’t going to send the proceeds to the accuser until he was sure someone had picked up the item.  He said he didn’t want to be burned if the buyer asked for a refund.

“I told the lady I’d give her money. I don’t know where this came about,” he said.  “I said let’s go to civil court.  Let’s let a judge decide.  They decided to make it criminal.”

Martin also sent Petchenik records he said shows that he’s refunded other people money if they weren’t happy with a purchase.  He said it shows he’s “no thief.”


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