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The Original Prop Blog 2013 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

January 4, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

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As per tradition, (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review, 2010 Year in Review, 2011 Year in Review, 2012 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations and opinions with regards to the business of buying, collecting, selling, and preserving original pop culture artifacts – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2013. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby. Read more

Mastro Auctions Scandal: Bill Mastro Pleads Guilty To Fraud & Altering Memorabilia; Faces Up To Five Years in Prison

October 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

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The New York Daily News lead mainstream media reports yesterday about “disgraced sports memorabilia kingpin” Bill Mastro of Masto Auctions plead guilty to mail fraud and admitted to trimming/altering a high value trading card to increase it’s value.  Mastro will be sentenced by U.S. District Court  Judge Ronald A. Guzman, and faces up to five years in prison. Read more

A Confession and The Psychology of a Fraud and Forger (“Caveat Emptor”)

March 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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CBS News has broadcast a fascinating feature and interview with Ken Perenyi, a self-taught artist who fooled the art market and auction houses with forgeries of paintings.  His method was to bring paintings he himself made into auction houses, and ask them what he had, saying now in retrospect, “risk is addictive“. Read more

Vintage Poster Scandal Update: 1931 Dracula Poster Lawsuits & Default Judgments – Profiles in History vs. Thomas Rega / Thomas Rega vs. Studio Conservation

January 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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One of the most significant scandals to hit Hollywood memorabilia collecting in the past decade was a series of discoveries in the poster community relating to purported fraudulent movie posters and one sheets.  A new update was published yesterday on the MoPo Mailing List at FilmFan.com by Dianne Jeffrey, President and CEO of Studio Conservation Inc.   Ms. Jeffrey was the professional who did some of the restoration work (in good faith) on the Dracula poster consigned to a Profiles in History auction in which it was featured on the cover of their “Hollywood Auction 37″ sale event in 2009. Ms. Jeffrey has stated on MoPo that she received notice of a default judgment against her from Thomas Rega “in the amount of $263,312.50, plus attorney fees of $18,134.80″; she is a resident of California and the lawsuit was filed against her in New Jersey and she did not represent herself and/or her business in court.  Interestingly, Profiles in History was previously awarded a default judgment against Thomas Rega in their own lawsuit filed against him in California. Read more

The Original Prop Blog 2012 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Original-Prop-Blog-2012-Pop-Culture-Collectibles-Memorabilia-Year-in-Review-Movie-Prop-Hobby-Editorial-x380

As per tradition, (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review, 2010 Year in Review, 2011 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations and opinions with regards to the business of buying, collecting, selling, preserving original pop culture artifacts – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2012. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby. Read more

New York Daily News Update on Mastro Auctions Scandal: Bill Mastro To Plead Guilty To Fraud, Altering Memorabilia

November 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

As the latest significant update to this ongoing high profile memorabilia auction house fraud scandal, the lead journalists covering the story for the New York Daily News today reports that William Mastro of Mastro Auctions will be changing his plea to guilty on one fraud count, and will admit 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”.  It’s last sale was to Ken Kendrick, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who paid $2.8 million for the baseball card.  Mastro originally purchased the card for $25,000. Read more

FBI: “William Mastro and Two Other Executives of Former Mastro Auctions Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Bidders in Online and Live Auctions of Sports Memorabilia and Other Collectibles”

July 25, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

The Chicago Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have published a press release update regarding the ongoing investigation of alleged sports memorabilia fraud involving former Mastro Auction executives.  Prosecutors claim that William Boehn, the Information Technology Director, made false statements to FBI agents.  According to the FBI press release,  the memorabilia auction house executives “were indicted on fraud charges for allegedly rigging auctions through a series of deceptive practices, including so-called “shill-bidding,” designed to inflate prices paid by bidders and to protect the interests of consignors and sellers at the expense of unwitting bidders.” Read more

Vintage Poster Scandal Update: Judge Sentences Kerry Haggard to over 6 years in Federal Prison and Orders to Pay $1,380,000 in Restitution to Victims

April 10, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

This is an update to the ongoing series of articles into various claims and charges of fraud in the posters, one sheets, and lobby cards art market that have rocked the collectibles industry over the past two and a half years. Today, per reports from Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Athens Banner-Herald, and other mainstream media sources, Kerry Haggard was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon to six years and six months in federal prison.  The court also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1.38 million dollars. Read more

The Original Prop Blog 2011 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

January 8, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

As was the case in previous years (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review, 2010 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations and opinions with regards to the business of buying, collecting, selling, preserving original pop culture artifacts – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2011. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby. Read more

FBI Press Release: “Three Men Plead Guilty to Fraud Involving Sports Memorabilia”

November 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As reported by various mainstream media outlets this week (New York Daily News original report, NY Daily News follow-up, Forbes, WREX-13), several memorabilia dealers plead guilty this week to fraud charges related to the sale of “game worn” sports jerseys.  Sentencing is scheduled for May 2012, and each maul fraud charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines.  Though a different class of memorabilia from television and film, it is always encouraging to see the FBI direct attention to any sort of memorabilia fraud, as it is very prevalent in all collecting areas. Read more

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