June 19, 2018
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Consignment shop owner fails to appear in court

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Mount Desert woman accused of stealing nearly $200,000 worth of antiques and designer clothes from a former friend in Connecticut was a no-show earlier this month for an unrelated civil matter in Ellsworth District Court, according to court documents.

Dianna Brochendorff, 63, was supposed to appear Monday, May 3, in Ellsworth District Court for a disclosure hearing on a financial judgment against her. The hearing had been scheduled to compel Brochendorff to pay $23,415 that she owes Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

Bangor attorney Michael Haenn, the bank’s attorney, said May 5 that the judgment against Brochendorff is the result of a credit transaction between the bank and Brochendorff. He said he did not know when the original transaction took place or what the purpose of it was.

The bank has been trying to get Brochendorff to pay the money since 2006, according to court documents. Haenn said it took the bank a few years since the 2006 judgment just to track Brochendorff down.

Last Monday’s hearing was the third time Brochendorff has failed to show up in Ellsworth District Court on the matter, court documents indicate. The first time she failed to appear for the disclosure hearing was in November 2006. After she again failed to appear in court this past March, Brochendorff wrote a letter to the court indicating she had missed the hearing because of illness.

The hearing was rescheduled for April 5 and then continued to May 3.

“I don’t think there’s been a legitimate reason for [Brochendorff] missing an appearance,” Haenn said. “I haven’t a clue as to when I might see her next.”

On Thursday, the court issued a civil order for Brochendorff’s arrest in order to get her to appear. It was not clear from court documents whether Brochendorff has an attorney to represent her in the matter.

Brochendorff answered the phone Saturday at a consignment shop she owns in Somesville but declined to discuss her legal situation with a reporter. She said she would have to discuss it first with her attorney, whom she did not identify. Brochendorff took the reporter’s name and cell phone number but had not called back by early Saturday evening. Further attempts to reach Brochendorff on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Brochendorff also faces criminal charges in Connecticut on an unrelated matter. A former friend has accused Brochendorff of failing to return designer clothing and antiques the friend had left with Brochendorff at Brochendorff’s former home in Salisbury, Conn.

The victim had difficulty getting Brochendorff to return the items, and last year discovered Brochendorff had opened a consignment shop in Somesville.

Brochendorff, who had been storing the items with a commercial company in Torrington, Conn., had to pay the company $10,000 in overdue fees and then an additional $2,500 to transport the items to Maine, according to a police affidavit. The $2,500 later was returned to the company by a bank because of insufficient funds, police have said.

The victim contacted police about Brochendorff’s whereabouts and in February they found some of the items at the Somesville shop and in Brochendorff’s Northeast Harbor apartment. Police also found sales receipts at the shop for some of the allegedly stolen items. The receipts totaled $3,388, but the former friend told police that the items Brochendorff sold had a total estimated value between $73,000 and $142,000.

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