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"The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008 at 3:26 AM
  (Login Yankeefan51)



We find it ironic, indeed, that this ultra rare piece of baseball
sheet music (issued in 1914 to honor the arrival of the Chicago Feds)
- a prized piece in our memorabilia collection ...so accurately describes
this year's unexpected special visitors to the National Convention

Please see the August 1, 2008 New York Daily News story below

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List


Feds crash National Sports Collectors Convention, hand out subpoenas
BY TERI THOMPSON AND MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITERS
Friday, August 1st 2008, 5:35 PM

Federal investigators crashed the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., on Thursday and Friday, delivering subpoenas to several hobby executives to appear before a grand jury that is hearing evidence about fraud in their industry.
Agents from the FBI and United States Postal Service also questioned other dealers and authenticators at the National, the hobby's largest annual memorabilia show.
"This is part of an active federal investigation," said a source familiar with the probe. "I think they came to the National because they knew everybody would be here, all under one roof. It's like shooting ducks in a barrel."
As the Daily News first reported in July 2007, the Chicago division of the FBI, whose "Operation Foul Ball" smashed a multi-state autograph forgery ring during the 1990s, last year initiated an investigation into Illinois-based Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia's largest auction house.
"The FBI has been walking the convention floor," said American Memorabilia president Victor Moreno. "You can feel the tension."
The visits from federal agents came as Mastro Auctions officials were preparing for the big live auction the company conducts in conjunction with the National.
"No more business as usual," said Chicago collector Michael Gidwitz, who was interviewed by the FBI several months ago. "An unregulated business like this, it brings in a lot of unscrupulous people. This needed to be done a long time ago."
Gidwitz, who became the first person to sell a baseball card for more than $1 million when he sold a T206 Honus Wagner once owned by NHL legend Wayne Gretzky to collector Brian Seigel in 2000 for $1.27 million, said he was victimized several times by one-time friend Bill Mastro, Mastro Auctions chairman. Those allegations first appeared in "The Card," a book about the T206 Wagner by two Daily News reporters that was published last year.
The Gretzky T206 Wagner, known in hobby as "the Holy Grail," was "discovered" by Bill Mastro in the 1980s. It was graded PSA-8 (on a scale off 1-10) by Professional Sports Authenticators, a card-grading service, even though one of the original authenticators acknowledged the company knew the card had been altered, a major violation of vintage card protocol. The book apparently hasn't affected the price: The Wagner was sold to an anonymous collector last year for $2.8 million through SCP Auctions, which owned a minority stake in the card. SCP, however, has never produced evidence that a transaction actually took place.

Mastro and auction house president Doug Allen did not return phone calls for comment. Nor did Randy Mastro, Mastro's brother and attorney who was a deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani. A Justice Department spokesman in Chicago said he could not confirm or deny an investigation had been initiated.
Hobby executives who have talked to the agents in the past year say the agents have asked about "shill bidding," when an aucton house or a consignor enters fake bids on an item in order to drive up the price.
Investigators have also expressed interest in a North Carolina warm-up shirt sold at the live auction Mastro's company held at the National last year. The shirt was advertised as a Michael Jordan-owned item, even though Memorabilia Evaluation and Research Services, a leading authentication firm, concluded another player's name - Ranzino Smith - had been ripped from the back and repaced with "JORDAN."
The shirt sold for $11,000 and although Mastro Auctions eventually voided the sale, it renewed calls for greater regulation of the dog-eat-dog world of sports memorabilia and attracted attention from the FBI.
Investigators have also questioned Bill Brandt, the president of Development Specialists Inc., the company hired by the state of Ohio to liquidate coins and collectibles purchased with state money by Tom Noe, the Republican Party official convicted in 2006 of stealing from a $50 million workers compensation fund and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Noe had purchased thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia from Mastro, Brandt and Ohio law-enforcement officials have said. Mastro Auctions repurchased the memorabilia back from the state of Ohio in December for $2.5 million.
Leon Luckey of Brockelman and Luckey Auctions said he is believes allegations of wrongdoing have unfairly bruised what he calls "a good hobby." Luckey, who also moderates Network 54, a popular vintage card Web forum, said he hosted a dinner Thursday night for 135 collectors and dealers attending the show.
"We had a great time, laughing and telling stories," Luckey said. "If someone has done something wrong, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law but it is a shame that it casts a negative light on the hobby. I love baseball and I love cards, but this hobby is all about the people you meet."


 
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AuthorReply


(Login B.C.Daniels)

"WoW!"

August 2 2008, 3:33 AM 

any of these guys raise cocks for fighten!

BcD

 
 

(Login Yankeefan51)

"The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 3:42 AM 

There are only five known copies of the "Feds Are Here to Stay"

One in the Franklin Steele Hall of Fame Collection
One in The Dorskind Collection
One in The Library of Congress Collection
Two in other "private" collections


For those of you, interested in looking at said sheet music, we suggest
you visit the link below

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200033372/default.html



Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:13 AM 

I think we should all thank Leon for putting a positive spin on an otherwise dreary story.

Does the Daily News ever care about anything other than all the negative aspects of this hobby? They sure do have an axe to grind.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:28 AM 

Barry, what would have been a positive spin on a pending federal criminal investigation? And why is the Daily News to blame for simply reporting what occurred? Perhaps the newspaper should stop reporting on all American deaths in Iraq too?

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:41 AM 

There is nothing wrong with reporting the news. But the best way to present it is by giving a more balanced story. Say all you want about the fraud in the hobby; I for one have long recognized how fraudulently business has been conducted in the sports memorabilia field. It's an unregulated industry that has attracted numerous fringe dealers who find it easy to make a quick buck.

But even I am a little tired of the one trick pony that the Daily News offers its readers (it is a rag newspaper, you know). At least Leon offered another way to look at things.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:46 AM 

What is a more balanced story? It seems the News gave Mastro et al the opportunity to provide that balance and it declined. Don't blame the media for reporting a factual story in which it gave all sides the opportunity to respond. And if the News is a rag and the Post is a rag, which newspaper in NYC isn't a biased rag -- the New York Times?

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:54 AM 

Well all newspapers are biased- they have a loyal readership and that's to whom they are reporting. I just don't find the Daily News to offer very interesting news. In that respect the NY Times is the best newspaper we have. If you don't like its liberal bent, that's fine- but it's still the best written paper in the city.

And I agree with you that it is fair for them to report the bad things going on in the hobby. But here's my point, and why I don't agree with your Iraq analogy: there is nothing good about the war, everything about it is negative; but our hobby, despite all the bad things that are going on, still has many good things too. I'm sure you have found good, otherwise you wouldn't be buying all those baseball cards.

So many people who are at the show have been posting what a great time they are having and all the great rarities they have been fortunate to see. Isn't that also part of the National experience (hey Jeff, keep it coming, we haven't had a good fight on the board in a long time)?

 
 

(Login buymycards)

National

August 2 2008, 8:54 AM 

I wonder if some of the dealers were scurrying around pulling the fake stuff from their display cases? This is long overdue. It would have been nice if a couple of the dealers had been taken away in handcuff's. I love this hobby, but I run across WAYYYY too many fake cards, auto's, and memorabilia.

Rick

 
 

(Login Yankeefan51)

The Feds Are Here To Stay

August 2 2008, 9:17 AM 


As long time collectors (active in rare baseball material for more
than three decades) it is certainly sad to see that fraud in our
hobby has reached the point, where Federal Agents have to
spend their time and our tax dollars investigating a group
of prominent hobby dealers.

However, this should not come as a surprise to anyone.

In a hobby which generates several hundred million dollars a year
in cash flow, one can hardly be surprised to learn that greed and crime
reared their ugly heads.

We should be forever grateful that the Feds are investigating.
Let us hope they catch those who have committed the crimes
and that said criminals are sent away for a long, long time.

As for the Daily News, we think the article was accurate and
that it clearly reported the story...which was crime in a hobbby
that many of its readers treasure. The National Convention, whist
a wonderful experience for the advanced collector (and the host
city resident), is far less important in the scope of things than
identifying the problem and catching the criminals.

Whilst we agree with Mr. Sloate that The Times is a strong and
wonderful newspaper (albeit liberal to the point of being shameful),
this story in The New York Daily News was well and accurately reported.
In our view it attempted (in its interview with Mr. Luckey) to cover
the "good side" of the hobby.

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:19 AM 

Barry, your lefty leanings are shining through -- believe it or not, there are some people in America who think that something positive is going on in Iraq such as, say, destroying terrorists and their networks -- can you imagine? As for the News, why should they report about all the nice things in the hobby when the article clearly is reporting a pending federal criminal investigation? What nice things should they have thrown in such an article? The sharp corners on the last card I bought? The fact that Bill Mastro is a snappy dresser? Barry, you're just overly sensitive because the article and the investigation hits too close to home for you. The fact is, a criminal investigation into fraud in our hobby is a good thing.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:23 AM 

A criminal investigation is a good thing...but why does the article hit too close to home for me? Please explain.

I should have added, and I don't want to get this too off track, is that most of the terrorists we should rightfully be frightened of are in Afghanistan, not Iraq. We're in the wrong country. I'm all for a build up in Afghanistan, buit we no longer have available troops.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:34 AM 

Barry, you just made my point. You're so overly sensitive you're inferring that my comment somehow suggested something sinister about your own business affairs! My 'too close to home' comment referred to the fact that bad news/fraud/arrests in our hobby/your business will have a negative impact on your business.

Edited to add: yes, Barry, you are correct. Terrorists in Iraq are not very scary; the ones in Afghanistan are the ones that keep me up at night.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:37 AM 

I don't think it will affect my business. I am who I am, and if somebody out there is doctoring cards, shilling bids, or selling bad autographs, it has nothing to do with me. I can only control my business, and not my peers.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:39 AM 

Jeff- you have too busy a schedule to be kept up at night by thoughts of terrorists. I suggest getting a good night's sleep.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:49 AM 

Barry, if the hobby is negatively impactetd by the revelation of major fraud in the auction world your prices will be affected, plain and simple.

As for worrying about terrorists, you're right. I apologize for engaging in the politics of fear. I will now forget 9/11 happened. I feel much better.

 
 

(Login qbtalshbh)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:49 AM 

this makes me wonder if I'm out of my depth as I begin to collect more valuable cards.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:53 AM 

Let's agree to let this terrorist discussion die, because it's starting to get a little ugly.

A major scandal could affect my business, if it means that large numbers of collectors decide they have had enough and drop out of the hobby.

But if a handful of bad eggs are handcuffed, and perp walked out of the Convention Center, I don't think it's going to impact what I do.

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 9:57 AM 

"There are only five known copies of the "Feds Are Here to Stay"

One in the Franklin Steele Hall of Fame Collection
One in The Dorskind Collection
One in The Library of Congress Collection
Two in other "private" collections


For those of you, interested in looking at said sheet music, we suggest
you visit the link below

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200033372/default.html"

I, for one, would like to see your copy, Bruces.

Please?

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:09 AM 

"believe it or not, there are some people in America who think that something positive is going on in Iraq such as, say, destroying terrorists and their networks -- can you imagine?"

Do you really believe, Jeff, that destroying the terrorist networks that did not exist before we invaded is something positive?

 
 

(Login Yankeefan51)

Attention David

August 2 2008, 10:22 AM 



David:

We find your request to be quite strange.

Our copy of The Feds Are Here To Stay
looks just like The Library of Congress Copy.

It appears ours is in a bit stronger condition.

We also have the only known copy of
Come Out Where The Buffalo Feds Play.

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List


 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:23 AM 

Well, I think it depends upon whether you considered Saddam a terror network unto himself, right? Otherwise, you're right. Since the terror networks didn't exist before the war started best that we just leave them alone now to do their thing. (Keep in mind that in retrospect I think the war was a mistake)

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:32 AM 

"We also have the only known copy of
Come Out Where The Buffalo Feds Play."

Well, since it's the only known copy, and cannot be seen anywhere else, how 'bout you show it to us?

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:38 AM 

"Since the terror networks didn't exist before the war started best that we just leave them alone now to do their thing."

I never said that, did I, Jeff?

I'd just like to know how spending $10B/month (not counting the unbelievably large costs further down the line, like long term medical care for tens of thousands of men and women) in order to first create and then destroy terrorist groups (while the real enemy strengthens in Afghanistan and Pakistan), can be considered a positive thing.


 
 
Peter_Spaeth
(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:40 AM 

With due respect to Barry and Leon, the fact that there are positive aspects to our hobby is a nonsequitur in my opinion. The subject of the story is an ongoing criminal investigation, and I don't see why such a story needs to be "balanced" any more than a story about a murder should also point out that a number of people had a good day.

Also it should be obvious to everyone by now that Bruce, as is his absolute right, does not wish to share scans of his collection, so what is the point of continuing to attack him for not doing so?


 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:41 AM 

"Do you really believe, Jeff, that destroying the terrorist networks that did not exist before we invaded is something positive?"

Don't your words imply that you believe that doing such a thing is negative?


 
 

(Login JBirkholm)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:44 AM 

This thread really went off on an odd tangent. I can see how it veered, but can't we stick to hobby-related issues in this thread? (I know, I know; the king of off-topic posts making such a request is a tad preposterous, but I hope that most of you would also like to see this very important topic stay on track.)

And Barry, of course these current goings-on won't affect your business--it goes without saying that dealers whose upstanding reputation precedes them will remain unaffected. Perhaps they might even experience an upsurge in business, as word-of-mouth spreads quickly. Many might turn their backs on the companies being investigated (should any wrongdoing prove to be true), opting instead to give their business to dealers without numerous decrepit skeletons in their closet.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:44 AM 

Peter, O'Keeffe gave certain parties the opportunity to have their say in his article and put a happy spin on the story; they declined to do so. Perhaps Doug will come out here and tell us that all is well again. Or maybe he'll again report that there is no such federal investigation as he did once before on this board?

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:44 AM 

Peter- fair enough, that story doesn't need to be balanced. And I admire O'Keeffe's book "The Card", and appreciate all that he revealed about the seamy side of our hobby.

But he clearly has it in for Mastro, and only seems to appear when Mastro Auctions is in trouble.

I'm all for ridding the hobby of fraud; but this guy is getting on my nerves a little.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:47 AM 

Yeah, Barry, O'Keeffe has it in for Mastro because he reported the existence of a federal criminal investigation. Tell me, do you think O'Keeffe is not reporting on other federal criminal investigations in the hobby and is just focusing on Mastro?

And furthermore, O'Keeffe has a life outside of reporting about Mastro. Believe it or not, he does write about other topics -- they're just not posted here.

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:47 AM 

Yes, Jeff. Doing such a thing--creating an enemy and then destroying it--is a negative. It is stupid, wasteful of resources, and most importantly, lives . And it allows our real enemies to grow unchecked.

What I never said was that once created (due to our unbelievable stupidity and hubris--remember how Cheney assured us that the Iraqis would be dancing in the streets and placing flowers in our gun muzzles) they should not be destroyed.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:49 AM 

David, I respect you and your opinion and suspect we are not too far off; let's just leave it at that on this thread.

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:50 AM 

Agreed.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:51 AM 

Jeff- you're probably right about O'Keeffe, he's just calling it as he sees it. I guess it just hit me the wrong way this morning.

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 10:56 AM 

On the real topic of this thread, I have to agree with Jeff and Jodi.

Investigating the fraud in this industry--and making it public that the industry is being investigated--can only help us all in the long run.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:01 AM 

I only wish O'Keeffe was better at what he does and was able to more persuasively document all the card alteration that goes on, and (in my opinion) ends up in slabs.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:08 AM 

Well, O'Keeffe is just a country reporter; give him subpoena power and he could be dangerous - unless his targets destroy all their records.

 
 
john
(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:10 AM 

I find it laughable that anyone would throw Mastro in a negative light, much less a Federal investigation. I have left bids on high end items only to wake the following morning and realize I won it for many bids below my ceiling. Everyone should get in line and kiss Bill Mastros ass for making the industry what it is. I know some board members will take offense to my support of Mastro...so be it. If it weren't for Bill, this hobby of ours would be stuck in the 80's.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:22 AM 

John- I had a lot of fun in this hobby in the 80's..I actually think it was a good era for collecting baseball cards.

 
 

(Login JBirkholm)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:25 AM 

Agreed. It was so much more fun back then. Then again, I was fresh to the hobby at that time, and soaked everything up in a way that only a youngster can.

 
 
Eric B
(Login egbeachley)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:25 AM 

2 quick points.

1) How cool is it to be an FBI agent assigned to this case.

2) How far behind is the IRS from a tax exasion standpoint?

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 11:26 AM 

So you're saying that if it weren't for Bill Mastro I'd have 300+ Joba Chamberlain rookie cards and ignoring the fact that I can pick up T206 cards for $5 each...and maybe a Babe Ruth game bat for less than a thousand dollars?

Thanks Bill!!!! <---------------------NOTICE----------

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:05 PM 

John, no offense taken at your post; however, I did throw up a little bit in my mouth upon reading it.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:13 PM 

Sorry you threw up Jeff.....I distinctly remember those cheap Xeroxed auction catalogs in the mail from EVERYONE. It seemed when Mastro/Steinbech came on the scene everyone, as my dad would say...got their **** together. Who, besides Mastro, continues to produce high quality auctions? Their nearest competitor does 4-5 million, less than half their take. Doug Allen is first class all around as well as Bill. Yes, everyone has an opinion regarding Bill. When you play at that level, you can't please everyone.

 
 

(Login JBirkholm)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:15 PM 

Who else? REA, Heritage, and Hunt certainly give Mastro healthy competition. I would say that Hunt pulls their own against Mastro, and has them beat for memorabilia.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:18 PM 

John- couldn't you make an argument that the hobby was more fun when things were a little more affordable? It was friendlier, more low key, just a real enjoyable hobby.

Today, everything is very high tech and godawful expensive. Is that better? I just don't know.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:19 PM 

Rob is most certainly 2nd and first class all around. In terms of consistent volume, I think the numbers speak for themselves. I would put Rob in front of Hunt in terms of memorabilia, IMO. Seems he continues to come up with fresh material.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:25 PM 

Barry-i'd love to have paid 15,000 for the Wagner last night...1981 prices. Going to the gas station and grocery store was more fun then as well . I hear what you're saying. I never had more fun than opening wax boxes from the mid 80's. My mother would threaten to throw away anything that was left in the den regarding my cards. To test her, I left out a Nelson Briles 1973 Topps in the middle of the floor. She told me she threw it away but I found it on top of the refigerator later that day!! I knew she loved me then.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:45 PM 

That auctions are of high quality has nothing to do with whether they are, or are not, infected by fraud in the bidding process. We certainly should reserve judgment, as at this stage there has not even been an indictment much less a conviction or plea, but let's not confuse the issues.

 
 


(Login wolfie51sb)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:49 PM 

To follow up on Peter's on-the-mark comment, anecdotal evidence like "I won my lots for far less than my ceiling bids" is just that: anecdotal.

Edited to add: On the flip side, saying something like "I always win lots with my ceiling bids maxed out" proves almost as little.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:56 PM 

Rob-anecdotal to you....not for me. It has been the rule, not the exception, to win lots for far below my left bids. I can't say that about everyone else. I recall in the late 90's leaving a dozen or so bids with a company, who's founder posts here, and winning them all for my max bid. That was the last time I did that. As Bush says, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I won't be fooled again."

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:58 PM 

Agreed on both counts. One would EXPECT most items to sell at or close to ceiling bids, assuming they were within the limits of rationality. The case will be made, or not made, on the basis of any documentary evidence and, more importantly, what employees have to say.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 12:58 PM 

John, you'd make a good character witness. Or juror.

 
 
Chris
(Login vintagechris)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:05 PM 

I have to wonder if the biggest problem is with the authenticators rather than the people who auction stuff. For autographs you get these large lot COA's and I just don't know how well they look at all these items. I know in the last Mastro auction they had a lot of autographs that included a signed Johnny Bench photo, only problem was it was the same photo Bench sent out to everyone who requested his auto in the mail in the 80's and it has a preprinted signature. Yet the authenticators said it was a legitimate autograph. To Mastro's credit, they pulled the Bench that day when I contacted them about it. I just think these people authenticating items should know these things

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:07 PM 

Jeff-If the Feds pull all the bidding records, I probably would not be called as a witness. A good example is last night. I told Doug I would win the lot of wax packs, no matter the price. I nailed it for 13,500, below the low estimate

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:11 PM 

Jeff means you would be a character witness for the defense, I presume.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:16 PM 

I read the articles regarding the supposed shill bidding with the con from Ohio. I can't imagine if that was going on, it would have happened to me also. With greed, more times than not, the situation gets painted with a broad bush stroke. Besides that one complaint, do any board members have any negative experiences regarding left bids with Mastro? I would think it would be prevelant if it was happening.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:27 PM 

John, good job winning a lot below even the low estimate last night. Funny how some of the prices didn't seem quite as strong as they have in past Mastro auctions. Must be the economy holding those prices down. Or maybe the weather. Or maybe just too many people in attendance who were not buyers last night.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:29 PM 

jeff-What did you think about the Wagner?

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:30 PM 

I think Wagners are on a different planet than all the other cards; not sure that the economy (or anything else) will ever affect The Holy Grail.

 
 


(Login Wite3)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:42 PM 

No mention of Coach's Corner? I am shocked...figured that they might be one of the first to talk to the FEDs.

Joshua

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:45 PM 

Josh-CC auctions: Shill bidding is much easier to prove than fake autos. They look for easy to prove, open and shut cases. That's why the Feds have a 98% conviction rate.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 1:50 PM 

John, you're correct. They go after cases they can win, the easier the better. As for their 98% conviction rate, not sure if that number is accurate but it includes guilty pleas. Trust me, they don't win 98% of their trials.

 
 

(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 2:02 PM 

Jeff-Damn, I believed that agent. i shouldn't have pled guilty!

 
 

paulstratton
(Login smokeyjoewood)

feds are here to stay

August 2 2008, 2:32 PM 

Sorry in advance...but I just can't let this go. The terror cells are originating in Waziristan and not in Afghanistan. The reasons(both politically and militarily) we can't bring the fight to them are too numerous to mention. It's an area of the world that is basically a modern day "badlands" and there are likely more than 1 million armed men running around unchecked(except by drones). Petraeus' strategy of "cut of a deal or you're next" just won't work there, though it is worth a try with the Pashtuns I guess. Afghanistan itself just might be the most unstable country in all of the world and if you had ever been there you'd realize why we can't go after "the real terrorists" as so many like to say.

I think the investigation of fraud in the industry is a good thing by the way.

 
 
john
(Login nyyanksghr)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 2:39 PM 

Paul-Huh?

 
 


(Login smokeyjoewood)

feds

August 2 2008, 2:48 PM 

Huh what?

 
 

(Login buymycards)

Eric

August 2 2008, 3:14 PM 

Eric, you brought up a good point. There is a lot of cash changing hands today. How much of it will be reported? How much sales tax and income tax will be paid on this cash? It is only a matter of time until the IRS takes a closer look at this hobby. I was at a flea market in Wisconsin a few years ago when the the Department of Revenue had people checking the dealers to make sure that they had a Sellers License from the State of Wisconsin.

I'm not sure how the big dealers work things out when they purchase cards at a show. Do they issue a 1099's on large purchases?

Rick


 
 


(Premier Login autograf)

that's how Kevin Costner

August 2 2008, 3:20 PM 

finally got Robert Deneiro.........


 
 


(Login base_ball)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 5:50 PM 

I've been out all day and haven't had a chance to read this whole thread, but after skimming through, it seems like some of the Mastro folks are headed to Gitmo. Wow! I'll go back and read now...

 
 

(Login qbtalshbh)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 7:00 PM 

how prevalent are fake cards? can I get a better idea of this?

 
 


(Login tbob)
Registered Users

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 2 2008, 8:38 PM 

Samuel- I don't think it is the authenticity of cards here in question but rather whether a real card was altered and the other 99% of the items questioned are not cards but memorabilia, like signed balls and bats and whether uniforms are real, etc.
I personally don't collect any signed memorabilia unless I witness the signor actually signing it because of the fakes out there, even fakes which have been "authenticated" by supposedly knowledgable third party "experts."
There are fake cards floating around but 99.9% of those can be spotted by conscientious collectors who do their homework.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Today's Daily News

August 3 2008, 8:58 AM 


Feds swarm to question card sharks
BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Saturday, August 2nd 2008, 10:15 PM

The same day Mastro Auctions sold a rare 1909 Honus Wagner card for $1.62 million at a sale held in conjunction with the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., federal agents investigating fraud in sports collectibles questioned employees of Professional Sports Authenticator, the hobby's top card grading service.

Also on Friday, investigators from the FBI and the United States Postal Service interviewed a former Mastro Auctions employee who is known to be a "card doctor," somebody who fixes dog-eared corners, removes stains, flattens out creases or takes other steps to improve the appearance of trading cards. Most collectors and dealers consider it unethical to alter cards.

"They spent a lot of time at the PSA booth," one sports memorabilia executive said.

Federal agents spent several hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the National, sports memorabilia's largest annual convention, issuing subpoenas to appear before a grand jury investigating fraud in the memorabilia business.

The agents' appearance at the show is part of an investigation into sports memorabilia fraud initiated last year by the Chicago division of the FBI, whose "Operation Foul Ball" smashed a multistate autograph forgery ring during the 1990s. The target of the investigation appears to be Illinois-based Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia's largest auction house, although other businesses and individuals may also be involved.

The source said Bill Mastro, the company's chairman, looked cool and collected during the auction, held this year at the Chicago ESPNZone. "But (Mastro president Doug Allen) looked awful," the executive added. "I think all this is getting to him."

Allen and Mastro could not be reached for comment Saturday. Neither could Joe Orlando, president of PSA.

The fact that PSA officials and the former Mastro employee were interviewed by agents indicates that investigators are also interested in learning about "card doctoring."

Cards that have been trimmed, colored or repaired are tainted and worth considerably less than cards that have not been altered. The difference in the value of cards that have been altered and the same card that has not been doctored can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

PSA was formed in 1991 to protect collectors from card doctors, counterfeiters and other cheats. But the company has been a lightning rod for controversy. Collectors and dealers say PSA inflates grades for cards submitted by big-volume customers such as Mastro Auctions.

The first card the company graded - another 1909 Wagner, at the time owned by NHL great Wayne Gretzky - had been cut from a sheet and later doctored, according to "The Card," a book by two Daily News reporters. The Wagner, which PSA graded an 8 (on a scale of 1-10) sold for a record $2.8 million last year, even though a former PSA authenticator has said the company knew the card had been doctored.


 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 9:41 AM 

Wow, our own Leon Luckey aka, Lucky Leon, aka, Wonka Victim, has been quoted by a New York newspaper!

Leon,

It will be interesting to see if there is an increased number of hits (on the b-board) since N54 was mentioned in the article. I think you need to jack up the banner ad prices

 
 

Joann
(Login jmk59)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:07 AM 

The later part of today's article (the one Jeff posted)refers to trimmed, colored or repaired - actions that pretty much everyone agrees are unethical alterations.

But the first part of the article talks about a card doctor and defines this as someone who "fixes dog-eared corners, removes stains, flattens out creases". Wow. These are not quite so universally considered alterations. Some people in the hobby defend these actions, along with soaking and erasing pencil marks, as benign and acceptable ways to spiff a card that fall short of unethical repairs. At minimum it is more debatable than trim/repair/recolor.

The first thing I thought when I read that was to wonder if Doug would regret coming on this board and admitting that Mastro used to do those kinds of things. Wow. Because clearly Mastro did not think they were doing anything wrong at the time, and now it might be some kind of crime?

Will the feds somehow determine what is an illegal, fraudulent alteration to a card when the hobby itself has been unable to agree on where the line should be drawn? And if anyone gets in legal trouble for pressing down corners or removing stains, it will be hard for me to see how that would be fair.

Think that's what's going on? Or is that just O'Keeffe's spin on the scope of the questions?

J

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:13 AM 

Joann, two thoughts: a) I think Mastro's problems are not centered around 'fixing dog-eared corners;' and b) my guess is that Doug Allen regrets a whole bunch of things he's done about now.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:16 AM 

I'm not sure anyone considers ironing out creases an acceptable practice.

My interest in this would be to investigate the graders. If they are giving inflated grades to their best customers I hope they get shut down.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:17 AM 

When was fixing corners ever considered acceptable?

 
 

(Login insidethewrapper)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:26 AM 

I hope the Feds were referred to both Coach's Corner ,Chris Morales and STAT to see how they conduct business.

I also overheard at a National a few years ago a major auction house say the following to one of his workers when the employee showed him a damaged card , as he examined it he said " no trouble we can fix the corner and get those creases out of it !"

 
 

(Login insidethewrapper)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:30 AM 

In regards to graders, they state they don't know whose cards they are grading ? You don't think if a big-shot walked in with a Wagner, etc they wouldn't know whose card it is. How can they be slabbed ( Dmitri Young Collection, Lionel Carter collection etc if no one knows the supplier of the cards.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:53 AM 

Mike, the bigger question is this: when the FBI was at the PSA booth yesterday, did anyone see a hair on Joe Orlando's head out of place?

 
 


(Login jmk59)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 11:50 AM 

I agree Jeff. I'm sure Doug is a bit nervous. I feel kind of bad about that. I don't know him from Adam, but I suspect he's a good guy that pushed the limits a bit.

I interpreted the 'fixing corners' as the laying down corners practice that has been the subject of debate here several times, with many board members saying they don't see anything wrong with laying down a corner that is stuck up a little bit. If what that means is a corner rebuild or something like that, then obviously it is considered unethical.

As to removing creases, that had some debate here with most people saying it shouldn't happen and it seemed like that one was the one that got Mastro to rethink what it was doing - not because they considered it wrong but because they saw that the hobby and customer base disapproved of the practice. That's just my recollection of the course of events, threads and posts, but it could be wrong. Hell, I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast!

I just thought it was notable that the first list of 'card doctor' practices read very closely to the list of things that were discussed here at length, particularly as related to Mastro, came down on the side of a majority here disapproving (but far from unanimously), and Mastro changed policy.

J

 
 

(Login postwarlurker)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 12:17 PM 

How does O'Keefe know that the former Mastro employee was a card doctor? And how do we know the conversations with PSA were even related to card doctoring? Were they questioning actual graders (who would be knowledgeable of such things) or were they just questioning reps?

They may have just been asking PSA about the submission process (how submitters's identities are concealed and that sort of thing). If the FBI were interested in doctored cards that end up in holders, I would expect them to question all the grading companies. You would also think that they would be shutting down the Gem Elite/Pro's of the world pretty soon if that were their interest, as it would be very easy to prove with those companies.


 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 2:06 PM 

Chris, you're probably right. The FBI agents and postal inspectors were probably jus asking about the post-50s special that PSA was advertising. I've heard that the FBI agent in charge of the investigation found a huge box of 70s Topps cards in his grandfather's attic and was hoping to get a good deal on slabbing.

 
 
davidcycleback
(Login dereb4)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 2:29 PM 

If you disclose what you did to a card or work or art, you have no legal issue. If you don't disclose alterations you performed, and the alteration and non-disclosure was done to raise value, you could get into legal trouble. It's perfectly legal to cut off the edges, bleach and rebuild the corners of all your baseball cards and Monet paintings. But you are required to disclose what you did to the cards and paintings when you sell.

People like to philosophize about the relative harm and ethics of spooning and wrinkle pressing and the like, but fraud really is a financial law and possibly fraudulent situations are substantially judged by the financial impact. Say blatant alteration and lack of disclosure was done to falsely raise the sell value by $10,000. What may most matter to a prosecutor and judge is the $10,000, not the kind of alteration performed. If wrinkle pressing to super high PSA grade and autograph forgery on a baseball result in the same $10,000 loss to a citizen, don't be surprised if a judge considers them equivalent crimes. The financial impact of the alteration and non disclosure may be far more important to the judge than the kind, style or technique of alteration used to reach the financial impact.

 
 

(Login Greatwake)
Registered Users

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 3:20 PM 

A significant aspect of this is the timing.

The FBI and USPS officers could have made their inquiries anytime. It seems likely they chose to do it during the National. There are many reasons why they might have done that.

So it isn't just what they did, but when they did it. And WHY they did it when they did.

 
 

(Login postwarlurker)

Re: 50's Special

August 3 2008, 3:27 PM 

I doubt the FBI would have much interest in submitting cards, but they could have a lot of interest in whether PSA's graders know whose cards they're evaluating if they've heard allegations of favoritism for Mastro or large submitters.

I thought I spelled that out enough the first time.


 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 3:30 PM 

Maybe the agents were inquiring whether they could get a greater discount on a collector's club membership.

 
 
JimCrandell
(Login Davalillo)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 6:21 PM 

Wow.

On vaca and just gave it a quick read but this is great news. Any high level investigation of fraud can only be good.

Do not agree that the hobby is about the people you meet--to me its all about the cards and anything that can stop the bad guys from altering the cards is a great thing.

Jim






 
 

B.C.Daniels
(Login B.C.Daniels)

"to me"

August 3 2008, 6:42 PM 

should be the qualifier on the labels of your cards Jim!
The "people".....matter!

BcD

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 6:57 PM 

Jim, do you really get no satisfaction out of meeting and conversing with people who share this very esoteric interest/obsession of ours? I mean, yeah, the cards are great, but some people I've met just from this board I consider close friends. Doesn't that have any value to you?

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 7:02 PM 

Hey Jim, you met me...wasn't that a life altering event?

 
 


(Login boxingcardman)

It's the Sutton Theory

August 3 2008, 8:00 PM 

Willie Sutton allegedly (it is actually a misquote) as to why he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." They went to the National because it gave the US Marshall a chance to serve all the subpoenas in one place; that's where the targets were located.

As far as testimony goes, I don't think they'll get much beyond invocation of the 5th Amendment privilege...but Brother Lichtman is the expert in this area of the law so whatever he says about this issue is fine by me.

BTW, I heard that a dealer actually did get arrested and taken off the floor by the Feds, but it was unrelated to the FBI's investigation. Anyone know what that was about?

Seems our next poll will be "which hobby luminary will be someone's prison wife this time next year?"

Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 8:23 PM 

There are other ways to make a case other than the admissions of the principals.

 
 
Jeff Prizner
(Login Bicem)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 8:28 PM 

"Do not agree that the hobby is about the people you meet--to me its all about the cards and anything that can stop the bad guys from altering the cards is a great thing."

I'd feel that way too if I were you Jim.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 8:49 PM 

Adam, no targets could have received subpoenas for their testimony -- because then they could simply assert the 5th, get immunity, and have their sins washed away. My guess is that any target that received a subpoena was for documents only. Anyone who received a subpoena for their testimony is probably just a witness for the Grand Jury.

And, of course, you're right: the reason why the subpoenas were served at the National is because the FBI/Postal Inspector was basically shooting fish in a barrel by having everyone under one roof.

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 8:53 PM 

This should be an interesting exercise for the feds.

Lets list the HOF of possible impropriety:

CARDS - The T206 "Gretzky" PSA8 Wagner

GAME USED - The bat "possibly" (use the term loosely) used in Joe D's 56 game hit streak

Can anyone add more?

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 9:15 PM 

The Harris Collection (possibly maybe).

 
 

(Login Davalillo)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:01 PM 

Jeff, Barry

You guys are good guys but if I did not collect or sold my collection its not that I would be involvedv in net 54 or see you guys.

to me--its the cards that matter--but if others feel differently and collect for the friendships that is fine too.

 
 

(Login sabrgeek)

On the unrelated matter

August 3 2008, 10:08 PM 

What I heard was that the person who was taken out in cuffs, went into a back room, stole a bunch of merchandise and THEN tried to sell the stolen stuff on the show floor in plain sight of the people who knew what had been taken. As a local radio personality here in Dallas does on his morning program, they walk amongst us.

Regards
Rich

 
 
shelly jaffe
(Login shelj)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:22 PM 

It will take me a day to digest all of what I have read. I can only tell you this is just the tip of the Iceburg.

 
 
shelly jaffe
(Login shelj)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 3 2008, 10:53 PM 

Iceberg, didnt know you spelled like Goldberg.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

speaking of icebergs

August 3 2008, 10:53 PM 

"But this ship can't sink!"

"She is made of iron, sir. I assure you she can, and she will."

 
 


(Login B.C.Daniels)

Jimmy~

August 3 2008, 11:18 PM 


 
 


(Login base_ball)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 12:08 AM 

One of the reasons, I suspect, that the Feds are targeting Mastro in particular, is that the Feds ALWAYS try to go after the big fish.

Another reason, and this speaks to the "card doctoring" aspect of this probe, is that one of the higher-ups on the Mastro masthead is one of the pioneers of selling altered cards. I don't think he did the actual doctoring himself, but he would set up at shows (I recall the PA-Fort Washington shows) and sell CLEARLY MARKED "restored cards". WHERE ARE ALL THESE CARDS TODAY and WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CONCEPT OF SELLING RESTORED CARDS??

 
 

(Login patrickaa)

Feds Are Here to Stay - Another Copy

August 4 2008, 12:20 AM 

Bruce,
Add one more copy to your list. I have seen an example in a collection here in Chicago from a sheet music collector I know.

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 2:02 AM 

"Do not agree that the hobby is about the people you meet--to me its all about the cards..."

But who would you tell of your 25,000 slabs? Can you imagine collecting with no one to feel superior to?

What good is a collector's Hall of Fame without the hoi polloi?

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 8:07 AM 

Boy, David, you don't see the term "hoi polloi" in a sentence very often these days.

 
 


(Login jacklitsch)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 8:47 AM 

"hoi polloi" comes in second to "jazz hands"

 
 
Jodi Birkholm
(Login JBirkholm)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 9:08 AM 

Glad somebody got a kick out of the "jazz hands"! It makes me want to do a search to see what the heck I was writing about that demanded the use of such a non-hobby-related term!

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 11:24 AM 

Peter,

I almost forgot about the Harris collection. What an absolute crock of crap that was. The definition of "subjective" takes an entirely different twist when you consider the grading of that set of cards. I suppose when you look at this industry/hobby there could be some oversight to protect the consumers but like that saying goes about a fool and his money.....

 
 

Bob
(Login tbob)
Registered Users

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 12:37 PM 

David- "hoi polloi," I love it! I haven't heard that expression in a long, long time
I agree though, if there were no hobby, i.e. no collectors who were involved in the pursuit of cards and sharing of opinions and facts about the cards with each other, publishing books and pamphlets about the cards, and getting together to drink a beer and see what each other had, no one would give a (Joe) Tinker's dam that you had 25000 pieces of plastic with baseball cards in them. It would be like someone who had a room in his basement with 25000 toothpicks. Who cares? People would think you were OC for having them.

 
 
Scott B.
(Login bond73)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 12:48 PM 


Now make me wonder the $1.3M "proxy bid" on that jumbo Wagner was really a "proxy bid" or just a hidden reserve.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 1:13 PM 

Fred, are you suggesting there were no "jumbo" T206s in the Harris Collection? How about mini-T206s?

The more surprising question is how did a Jumbo Wagner get past Bill Mastro? Can you imagine how frustrated he must have been when he saw that card? Five minutes with him and that card would have been a 9.


 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Scott B- bond73

August 4 2008, 1:19 PM 

I was at the live auction and I can assure you that the bidders bidding on the Wagner were real.....it went back and forth after it hit 1m with 2 bidders.....On other lots there were book bids (most likely phoned in) but this lot didn't have any of those once it got going.....

I am saddened a bit to hear that friends and colleagues of mine are being investigated as I would be for any friend. I stand by the comments I made to O'keefe and hope the investigation will vindicate Mastro....

Also, I specifically asked O'keefe to be careful to not take my comments out of context and I don't believe he did. He stated exactly what I said. With that being said what he did not state were my comments about the book "The Card"......That was why I made the comment about putting the hobby in a good light, after exposing improprieties. I am NOT saying we always have to make everything sound hunky dory when it isn't. However, I do believe there is more good than bad about the hobby but if all we hear is the bad then it doesn't make it out to be that way. I have no issue whatsover with investigations as I think the are GOOD for the hobby in the long run. It will make folks have more confidence to jump in and collect. I know Scott and I are a wide open book when it comes to the hobby....and that is the way it should be. thanks and best regards

 
 

John
(Login wonkaticket)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 1:29 PM 

"The more surprising question is how did a Jumbo Wagner get past Bill Mastro? Can you imagine how frustrated he must have been when he saw that card? Five minutes with him and that card would have been a 9."

LMAO...Jeff I think you'll be paying more than $75 next year for the catalog, perhaps after the legal fees Mastro will be charging us a dollar a click on the website.


 
 


(Login wonkaticket)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 1:32 PM 

Damn Leon you were at 1m on the Wagner...strong!

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 4 2008, 2:35 PM 

Jeff and John, both recent posts are great. It's always good to chukle a little while reading through the threads.

 
 


(Login B.C.Daniels)

Jeff

August 5 2008, 2:46 PM 

οἱ πολλοί

BcD

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 5 2008, 6:41 PM 

Brian, I hope your post, interpreted, states that you're sending a Cobb Rose Postcard my way.

 
 
Bill
(Login billcauley)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 6 2008, 6:02 AM 

There is nothing wrong with reporting the news. But the best way to present it is by giving a more balanced story. Say all you want about the fraud in the hobby; I for one have long recognized how fraudulently business has been conducted in the sports memorabilia field. It's an unregulated industry that has attracted numerous fringe dealers who find it easy to make a quick buck.
=============================================================================

Well, they did apparently try to contact Mastro with no response.

Change your socks, drink water, and drive on.

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 6 2008, 11:46 AM 

Bill,

Change your underwear, drink beer and don't drive after you've had too much...

 
 
Rexicle
(Login GrossmansGrossman)

"The Feds Are Here To Stay" ... and indict

August 7 2008, 9:18 PM 

john. Your perspective and grand applause for mastro's top officials seems skewed, almost romantic. From your most unbiased view (however difficult it may be for you to achieve such a terribly objective perspective), what are your thoughts on the feds, this time, seeking an indictment?

 
 


(Login danmckee)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 7 2008, 9:22 PM 

But Leon stated that he wasn't aware of anything going on in the hobby, can someone please provide him the link to the recent Nodgrass episode? Oh, here it is - http://www.network54.com/Forum/153652/message/1209785082/A+Collector%2C+Mastro%2C+PSA+%26amp%3B+Our+Beloved+Hobby

 
 

(Login boxingbaseballgolf33)

The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 8 2008, 9:32 AM 

I the IRS will be making some changes, and paypal and eBay will be involved

take a look at this article

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/latest/high-volume-sellers-irs-is-interested.html

Take Care

Jimmy

 
 

leon
(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Dan

August 8 2008, 9:38 AM 

Where did I state nothing is going on in the hobby? I said there is more good than bad and I do think the bad gets stated more often than the good...?

 
 


(Login danmckee)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 8 2008, 9:41 AM 

I was just chop busting u bro, u were very politically correct in ur statement. I love my bottle so thanks for sending me home. Dan

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Dan

August 8 2008, 9:45 AM 

It's hard to tell behind a keyboard....I luv ya man!! And I missed your Dad getting between us in a squabble this year. He is the best. ....I am going to edit my little comment above.....hey, I like the bottle too!!

 
 


(Login danmckee)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 8 2008, 9:53 AM 

u could have left that comment! It is all good. No sweat here my friend. Heck pop just sat there, we could have used a mediator back then. Too funny. Dano

 
 

(Login murderers_row)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 8 2008, 1:33 PM 

"οἱ πολλοί"


Nice!

 
 

(Login EricPugh)

back to the title of the thread

August 8 2008, 4:50 PM 

While Mastro may or may not be a totally "clean" business, it's hard to believe the feds would start with them. It seems there are so many other 2nd-tier outfits with blatant examples of saying cards sold when they did not, shilling etc. They might not be as big as mastro, but they are so obviously suspect you would think the feds would start there first.


 
 
Mark
(Login perezfan)

Re: "The Feds Are Here To Stay"

August 8 2008, 5:22 PM 

I don't know why you say that, Eric...

Coach's Corner does not realize those crazy prices, which should serve as evidence of no shill bidding or wrong-doing. Their items simply sell for the highest bid amount. Case in point... Ruth Balls for $800, Josh Gibson cuts for $500 and even Joe Jackson autos for under $1,000. Nope, no wrongdoing there!

For the record, I think it is ridiculous and an unjust double-standard as well. I am 100% positive that numerous other auction houses are far more corrupt, and am praying that 3 - 4 of them are investigated to a greater extent than Mastro.

 
 


(Login B.C.Daniels)

e_mail address

August 9 2008, 2:01 AM 

Does anyone have O'Keeffe's e-mail address?

thanks!

BcD

 
 
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