A Colorado man was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme involving selling counterfeit sports trading cards, as well as receiving authentic cards in exchange for his fakes.
According to the Department of Justice and the Eastern District of New York, an 82-year-old man was arrested in Denver for defrauding sports trading card enthusiasts, in a system that is described by authorities as a “far-reaching scheme” that spanned several years.
The man sold more than $800,000 in trading cards between April 2015 and July 2019, conspiring with others to sell fake cards that included 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards. In 2011, one of these cards sold for $100,000 after being graded as a 10/10 by Beckett Grading Services.
He took in over $800,000 in cash and also received other legitimately authentic trading cards in exchange for counterfeits.
The FBI says the man “defrauded sports memorabilia collectors of more than $800,000 by intentionally misrepresenting the authenticity of the trading cards he was peddling when, in fact, they were counterfeit.”
“The FBI remains committed to investigating fraud at all levels and bringing the subjects who engage in it to justice,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll.
“Protection from fraud extends to all consumers, regardless of what team they root for,” United States Attorney Breon Peace remarked. “As alleged, the defendant orchestrated a years-long and far-reaching scheme to defraud sports trading cards enthusiasts and the sports memorabilia industry. Our Office is committed to addressing counterfeiting at all levels of the market,” the attorney added.
Peace commented on the arrest days after announcing a set of charges for three other individuals involved in a fraudulent scheme. Three former New York City correctional officers plead guilty to sick leave fraud after it was revealed they were able to work, in some cases traveling abroad, bowling, or performing home renovations.
All three correctional officers missed work for over a year, but still collected $139,000, $119,000, and $80,000 in salary.
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