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Collector/Investor Files Fraud Lawsuit Against John LeBold and Americana Dance Theatre Over Elizabeth Taylor “Cleopatra” Dress and Other Hollywood Movie Costumes

September 17, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Per Courthouse News Service, Richard Abrahamson (a former owner of Toon Art) has filed a lawsuit against John LeBold and Americana Dance Theatre, Inc. over the sale of a number of wardrobe pieces attributed to use in various Hollywood films.  The complaint was filed in the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio last week, and “Abrahamson seeks $90,000 for breach of contract and fraud, and punitive damages“, per the CNS report.  One of the pieces purchased by Abrahamson (via Toon Art) from LeBold in 1999 was Elizabeth Taylor’s costume from Cleopatra (1963), which Abrahamson recently attempted to resell through Profiles in History.  The report claims, “[u]pon publication of the [auction] catalogue [sic], the owner of the authentic ‘Cleopatra’ dress contacted Profiles in History to notify them of the fraudulent representation in their catalog“. 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

Prop Talk Podcast #017 – Jeff Pirtle, Director of Archives and Collections, NBCUniversal | Interview by The Original Prop Blog with Jason DeBord

May 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeff Pirtle, special guest. This is the seventeenth ‘Prop Talk’ podcast by the Original Prop Blog. Mr. Jeff Pirtle is Director, Archives and Collections, NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is celebrating their Centennial, and involved in a number of projects that give people glimpses of never-before-seen props, images and more from the NCBUniversal collection. Jeff Pirtle has been working on pulling key items to share on Universal’s Centennial Tumblr as well as for the Centennial celebration overall.

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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

Judge Sentences eBay Entertainment Memorabilia Dealer to over 8 years in Federal Prison and Orders to Pay Nearly $175,000 in Restitution to Victims

April 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

As reported on last year (see “eBay Entertainment Memorabilia Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges in U.S. District Court“), eBay entertainment memorabilia dealer David Bruce Shyrock plead guilty to fraud charges in federal after defrauding over 1,200 eBay users out of nearly $175,000 by selling memorabilia with forged autographs on the popular online auction website.  Today, the Joplin, Missouri man was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole.  The court also ordered Shyrock to pay $174,894 in restitution to his victims.  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

eBay Entertainment Memorabilia Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges in U.S. District Court

October 3, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Per Reuters and other sources, eBay entertainment memorabilia dealer David Bruce Shyrock plead guilty to fraud charges in federal court today.  The Missouri resident faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000 for a variety of charges, including defrauding over 1,200 eBay users out of nearly $175,000 by selling memorabilia with forged autographs on the popular online auction website. Read more

Prop Talk Podcast #014 – Laura Woolley, The Collector’s Lab | Interview by The Original Prop Blog with Jason DeBord

June 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Laura Woolley, special guest. This is the fourteenth ‘Prop Talk’ podcast by the Original Prop Blog. Ms. Laura Woolley is President of The Collector’s Lab, which provides “individualized, high-level professional and appraisal services to private collectors, institutions, insurance companies, museums, and wealth management professionals”.  Ms. Woolley has extensive experience working for and with the premiere auction houses operating in the entertainment memorabilia field, and also serves as an appraiser to the Antiques Roadshow.  Ms. Woolley is a Certified member of the Appraiser’s Association of America and has completed the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) examination.

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Vintage Poster Scandal Update: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Reports NY Federal Prosecutors Seek New Arrest Warrant

April 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today published an update to one of several scandals that rocked the collectible poster collecting field in 2009 and 2010.  The news report states that “Federal prosecutors in New York are asking a judge to jail a Georgia man who is accused of selling fake vintage horror movie posters over the Internet”. Read more

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