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

October 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


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

New York Times Article Highlights Issues of Auction Oversight & Transparency; Discusses Use of Chandelier and Sham Bids in Art Market

January 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


This week The New York Times published an interesting article (“As Art Values Rise, So Do Concerns About Market’s Oversight”) about customs in the high end art market auction world that are not favorable to consumers.  Though the article is specific to the art market and New York (and their own laws, rules, and regulations), some of the issues are very much the same ones we face in the original film and television artifacts market, and is “must” reading for anyone involved in buying and selling original TV and movie props, costumes and other production material sold in the marketplace. 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 


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 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

Profiles in History Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Non-Paying Auction Bidder on “Ten Commandments” Movie Prop Tablets

January 16, 2013 by · 2 Comments 


Auction house Profiles in History filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court last week against one of its customers, Albert Tapper, claiming that the buyer won two items in their “Hollywood Auction 53″ sale event last month, but only agreed to pay for one (“Lot 197 | Clark Gable early signed, handwritten letter to his dad”) that sold for $8,000 plus buyer’s premium, and not the more expensive lot (“Lot 422 | Charlton Heston “Moses” prop Ten Commandments tablets from The Ten Commandments”) which realized $60,000 plus buyer’s premium.   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 


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

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