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Old 12-01-2012, 03:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mastro Auction founder pleaded auction

Just wow!

Federal indictment briefing from the FBI

http://www.fbi.gov/chicago/press-rel...r-collectibles

Quote:
In October 2007, Allen allegedly created a “Code of Conduct” for Mastro Auctions. Despite the code’s assurances to the contrary, Mastro, Allen, and Theotikos knew that Mastro Auctions frequently did not disclose true ownership of items or that several employees with bidding privileges, including Mastro and Allen, had access to information about the ceiling bids, including the bid amounts. Further, contrary to the code’s assurances, employees, including Mastro, Allen, and Theotikos, bid on items consigned by related parties.

Among allegedly fraudulent auction practices, the indictment charges that the three defendants and others placed fictitious shill bids for the sole purpose of artificially inflating the price of items being auctioned. They allegedly placed shill bids at various times using a corporate bidding account, their own personal accounts, and accounts of employees and friends. The defendants then ensured that when a shill bid was the highest bid, the shill bidder would not be required to purchase the item; instead, they canceled the sale and offered the item to the next-highest bidder, the charges allege.
Former sports collectibles king Bill Mastro expected to plead guilty to fraud charge in front of new judge | New York Daily News

Quote:
Mastro, the one-time king of sports collectibles who was indicted on a count of fraud in July — and accused of trimming the world’s most expensive baseball card — has already signed a plea agreement that changes the not-guilty plea he entered in July to guilty, according to papers filed in Chicago federal court by the United States Attorney's office for northern Illinois.



Prosecutors Nancy DePodesta and Steven Grimes had asked the court to set a change of plea hearing for early February. Mastro's attorneys support the request, the papers said. Michael Monico, Mastro’s attorney, told the Daily News this week that Mastro intends to resolve the case without a trial and is cooperating with the government.

A federal grand jury handed down a 16-count indictment in July that said the former king of cards and his associates Doug Allen and Mark Theotikos routinely defrauded customers, rigged auctions and inflated prices paid by unwitting bidders.

Allen was also indicted on 14 counts of wire and mail fraud, while Theotikos was indicted on six counts of wire and mail fraud. Allen and Theotikos have both pleaded not guilty.

A former Mastro Auctions employee, William Boehm, was charged with one count of making false statements to the FBI agents who investigated the company's practices. Boehm has also pleaded not guilty.

Mastro will apparently acknowledge at the February hearing that he altered the world's most valuable trading card, a Honus Wagner T206 that has fetched millions of dollars in a series of high-profile transactions, including a 1991 sale for $451,000 to NHL legend Wayne Gretzky and former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall.

The card, christened as the "Gretzky T206 Wagner," was on loan to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown until March. Its latest sale was to Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, who paid a record $2.8 million for the card.


Last edited by hazenuts; 12-01-2012 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good to see these guys get caught for stealing money from people.

Im sure there are people here who will defend the action of shill bidding and that it doesnt hurt anyone so as long as you place a bid of what your willing to pay.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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totally agree.....shill bidding should not be taken lightly.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Been going on since Cleve 09 when they auctioned off the Jordan UNC warm up... Can't believe so many collectors still turn their eye to this news...
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This goes on at Ebay all day,every day. Its more rampant then people think.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wonder how the people are going to react that say "the FBI has better things to do than worry about sports cards".
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old news....everyone has known for a long time that most of the major auction houses (not just Mastro) are crooked, just like the grading companies who "authenticate" items for them.

REA (Robert Edwards Auctions) and SGC (Sportcard Guaranty Company) are probably the only two big hobby names that have not been alleged to have engaged in questionable practices.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be surprise if Ebay did the same freakin things as these Mastro low-lives. Absolutely disgusting of these guys.
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