Joshua Shores, 41, of Bel Air, Md., has been charged with wire fraud in conjunction with dealing in counterfeit and fraudulent sports memorabilia in federal court in Pennsylvania.
Authenticators and sellers targeted by the FBI for forgeries and frauds are still finding their way onto online marketplace sites, including eBay. Check out the lists of who’s not allowed on eBay and other who should be on the list.
‘Operation Bullpen’ author Kevin Nelson pens the final installment in his series on the famous forgery ring: Of all the hundreds of thousands of counterfeits produced by the Operation Bullpen gang, none has ever invited so much comment or ridicule as the Mother Teresa baseball, arguably the most famous autograph forgery ever made.
The signing habits of Mantle, Williams and DiMaggio on the show circuit and with memorabilia companies was all forgers needed to have a “story” as to why they would be in possession of hundreds of signed photos, for instance, of these superstar players – none of which were genuine.
Why do forgers go for the big names? Because that is where the demand lies. From Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the big names and their big achievements lead to demand, and the forgers supply the goods.
The art of autograph forgery isn’t limited to simply placing a signatures on an item. As ‘Operation Bullpen’ author Kevin Nelson details, forgers were craftsman who did their homework to deceive collectors, playing on an appearance of vintage to sway buyers.
Kevin Nelson, author of “Operation Bullpen: The Biggest Forgery Scam in American History” debuts his exclusive series on baseball forgeries for SCD, using photos obtained from the FBI and stories he ran across in writing the book. Some of these photos have not previously been seen in public.