Crooked violin dealer escapes jail

Crooked violin dealer escapes jail


norman lebrecht

March 27, 2015

A Connecticut instrument specialist has talked himself out of eight years behind bars by agreeing to repay $379,000 to customers he had robbed. Charles Magby pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree larceny.

Musicians would leave their instruments with Magby for repair, restoration, assessment and, sometimes, sale. When elderly people came back for their violin or cello, Magby would make excuses or deny receiving the object.

After the plea deal, Magby has been placed on probation but will continue to do business in Guilford, Ct., trading as C. H. Magby Jr. Fine Violins Ltd..

You have been warned.



  • Johann S says:

    By not requiring Magby to serve time, the court gives a green light to such dealers who commit larceny and run Ponzy schemes – nothing will happen to you, if you pay back…

    How about extra compensation for the headaches customers had, their wasted time, and damaged or “lost” instruments?

    Shame on the court and Magby!

  • Milka says:

    Violin dealers as a group are often an unsavory bunch of people.