“The Counterfeiter” revisits the a dark time in the autograph hobby when the Operation Bullpen FBI busts took place in the late 1990s.
Fifteen years after the big bust, ‘Operation Bullpen’ scam still has legs; mainstream media and movie interest continues to grow.
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 helped expose a major forgery ring with his published work on the FBI raid, but he knows the problem still exists. Here are his Top 10 list on what you can do to help stem the tide.
From the Operation Bullpen author Kevin Nelson comes the latest installment on celebrity and historic and political forgeries. If a photo, album or poster is filled with multiple signatures and it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Getting the cast or group to all sign a piece is often a foolhardy thought.
In the latest installment from Operation Bullpen author Kevin Nelson, he looks at the nationwide autograph forgery ring brought down by the FBI in 1999 and how they are still inflicting damage to the hobby in the area of cut signatures.
‘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.