Bill Mastro of Mastro Auctions Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Shill Bidding & Fraud

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The New York Daily News continues to take the lead in the mainstream media on the story about “disgraced sports memorabilia pioneer” Bill Mastro, Founder and CEO of Masto Auctions, which shut down in 2009 during the FBI investigation.  In the ongoing saga, he plead guilty to shill bidding and mail fraud and admitted to trimming/altering a high value trading card to increase … [Read more...]

The 8th Annual Original Prop Blog “Year in Review” for 2014: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

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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, 2013 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 … [Read more...]

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

Original-Prop-Blog-2011-Pop-Culture-Collectibles-Memorabilia-Year-in-Review-Movie-Prop-Hobby-Editorial-70x100

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, … [Read more...]

Gallerist Feature Tackles Auction House (Hidden) Reserves and Transparency – Heritage Auctions Leading in This Regard with Publicly Disclosed Reserves

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Daniel Grant, writing for Gallerist, published an interesting article a few days ago about auction houses, reserves, and transparency (see "How Low Can You Go?: Should Auction Reserve Prices Be More Transparent?").  In his feature, he talks about how in nearly all cases, auction houses do not openly disclose the reserve (the lowest amount for which an item will sell at … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

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

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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 … [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

Original-Prop-Blog-2012-Pop-Culture-Collectibles-Memorabilia-Year-in-Review-Movie-Prop-Hobby-Editorial-70x100

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 … [Read more...]

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

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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 … [Read more...]