Piano Dealer Gets 28 Months for Cheating Clients

David Kan, M.D. was the forensic psychiatrist who testified for the San Francisco District Attorney in this trial. He testified against the defense who was raising certain psychiatric issues on behalf of his client. The DA got a conviction. Thursday, November 18, 2010 (11-18) 09:03 PST SAN FRANCISCO — A vintage-piano consignment dealer in San Francisco was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in state prison for pocketing proceeds from sales that were owed to her clients. Susan Gilner, 68, owner of Encore Vintage Pianos, must spend 28 months behind bars for forgery and embezzlement, said Judge James Collins of San Francisco Superior Court. Gilner was arrested in 2005 after police received complaints from clients who had hired her to sell their pianos. Nine people said they had been cheated by Gilner, who operated her piano shop from her garage on Lombard Street. One client, John Kiskaddon, 51, of Piedmont said he had seen just $5,000 of the $30,000 sale of his 1916 Steinway A Grand that Gilner arranged in 2002. All told, prosecutors say, Gilner made off with $138,000 from 1998 to 2003 that should have gone to her customers. Authorities said she used the money to pay off business and personal debts. Gilner filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and estimated her debts at more than $795,000, records show. A jury convicted Gilner last year of two counts of forgery and nine counts of embezzlement. The panel found her not guilty of grand theft. E-mail Henry K. Lee at email hidden; JavaScript is required.