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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:20 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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Default FAKE packs and an FBI Fraud Investigation: What would YOU do?

I find myself in between a rock and a hard place (PSA and StarPaxMax) and I face some moral and ethical questions:

1) PSA found someone who they claim was submitting fake packs
2) He was a very well respected unopen expert on their boards ID: StarPaxMan and they have banned him. He is known as pepis on this forum.
3) They had authenticated and graded about 200 of his packs before someone turned the person into PSA
4) PSA then turned the case over to the FBI and there is an ongoing investigation.
5) Steve Hart, PSA's pack authenticator, told me that the person beat him (IMO - No one is perfect! It takes an honorable person to admit to being beat)
6) PSA's pack authenticator says some of the 200+/- packs are fake but does not know how many or which ones
7) PSA/FBI still have about 100 additional packs in their possession. The submissions that were there when the person was turned in.
8) PSA's pack authenticator gave me the list of packs the person had authenticated. I do not know nor did the authenticator tell me which are real or fake.
9) I verified that some of my better packs are on that list. There are some high profile packs on the list.
10) A friend of mine has a pack on the list.
11) I unknowingly sold several packs on the list a while ago.
12) I want to get out of this part of the hobby now. It is too dirty for me.
13) I called some higher ups at PSA looking for assistance and guidance and was treated like crap and given no help.
14) My entire user profile including thread posts and PM's has now been deleted from PSA's forums. I had a lot of information pertaining to this in my PM's
15) Steve Hart is the only one remotely associated with PSA that gave me the time of day. I appreciate his assistance and cooperation.
16) Steve Hart from PSA feels like I should ask the person for my money back or I should just sell the packs since no one knows for sure whats real or fake
17) One of the packs on the list is on Ebay right now!

Questions for the board:
A) Is it morally ok for me to sell the packs on the list?
B) How would you feel if you saw a pack you owned on the list?
C) Should I disclose to my friend that he could have a fake pack even though I told Steve Hart I would not share the list with anyone
D) Should I contact the consigner of the packs I sold and let him know he may have passed on fake packs
E) I have the entire list of possible bad packs. Should I post them so people can view it or keep it a secret because I told Steve Hart I would not share the list with anyone.*
F) Should I at least expose the pack I see on ebay right now?* Even though it may be real?

Last edited by DavidG1966; 01-23-2013 at 02:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:37 PM
markf31 markf31 is offline
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I think you need to tread very carefully. The list and the associated information that you have is part of an ongoing FBI investigation and you were given this information in what seems to be complete confidence by Steve Hart, who ironically is going to be heavily involved in the ongoing investigation as well. His act of disseminating this information to you could mean trouble for both you and him since it deals with information tied to the investigation and possible evidence in this ongoing investigation.

I would highly recommend you remain silent with the information you possess and under no circumstances release it, nor hint at its existence to anyone. I would also not act or take any actions where you would benefit from having known about the information such as questioning others or offering packs for sale since they could be construed as evidence, until the investigation by the authorities is completed. I would think any pack on the list would be considered evidence in the investigation. I would even recommend talking to your lawyer or a lawyer about this. The FBI does not take kindly to information about ongoing criminal investigations being leaked to anyone, especially the “public”.

Last edited by markf31; 01-23-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:42 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markf31 View Post
I think you need to tread very carefully. The list and the associated information that you have is part of an ongoing FBI investigation and you were given this information in what seems to be complete confidence by Steve Hart, who ironically is going to be heavily involved in the ongoing investigation as well. His act of disseminating this information to you could mean trouble for both you and him since it deals with information tied to the investigation and possible evidence in this ongoing investigation.

I would highly recommend you remain silent with the information you possess and under no circumstances release it, nor hint at its existence to anyone. I would also not act or take any actions where you would benefit from having known about the information such as questions others or offering up what could be construed as evidence, until the investigation by the authorities is completed. I would even recommend talking to your lawyer or a lawyer about this. The FBI does not take kindly to information about ongoing criminal investigations being leaked to anyone, especially the “public”.
Yup! This is exactly the problem I face. I am stuck in the middle with packs that people involved think I should just sell and move on passing any potential issues to the next guy. If I disclose that the pack is potentially fake in any sales, who will buy it other then at a scrap price. I have a large investment and am stuck! Others could be stuck too and there is someone about to buy a pack on ebay right now that could potentially get stuck.

Last edited by DavidG1966; 01-23-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:43 PM
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I don't have an opinion on the morality of it, but I think knowing what you know I would be uncomfortable selling packs that seem to have a pretty high chance of being fake. Put it this way, if you were a buyer and the truth came to light later, would you be pissed off at the seller who didn't say anything? You probably would be.

Yeah, I suppose one could argue you're just selling PSA's opinion, but (easy to say I know) I don't think I would be comfortable.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:45 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_spaeth View Post
i don't have an opinion on the morality of it, but i think knowing what you know i would be uncomfortable selling packs that seem to have a pretty high chance of being fake. Put it this way, if you were a buyer and the truth came to light later, would you be pissed off at the seller who didn't say anything? You probably would be.

Yeah, i suppose one could argue you're just selling psa's opinion, but (easy to say i know) i don't think i would be comfortable.
Exactly! I am SICK over the packs I unknowingly already sold.

Last edited by DavidG1966; 01-23-2013 at 01:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:45 PM
markf31 markf31 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG1966 View Post
Yup! This is exactly the problem I face. I am stuck in the middle with packs that people involved thinks I should just sell and move on. I have a large investment and am stuck! Others could be stuck too and there is someone about to buy a pack on ebay right now that could potentially get stuck.
Again, I'm no lawyer. But the information you possess is part of an ongoing investigation. I would highly recommend you speak to a lawyer immediately. Any move now on your part could put you into big trouble later on.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:45 PM
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i would agree with everything mark said and u also may want to call a lawyer
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:48 PM
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Hello, David. My name is Keith temple. I worked for a company that was defrauded in the mid 80's to the tune of over a billion bucks. I feel for your dilemma, there. No easy answers here.

Me personally, I would not sell any packs in my possession that were on this list. Period. Before I published information from a third party who worked for a publicly traded company, I would see a lawyer. Before I called anyone and said a pack is suspect, I would talk to that lawyer. Before I betrayed he trust of ths third party, I would let that person know of my intentions...arghh, this brings back so many bad memories.

Oh yeah, you may want to talk directly with the investigators...
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:49 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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This is exactly why I am seeking opinions on what to do. My advise from PSA and StarPaxMan was to just sell them. How can I do that?
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:55 PM
markf31 markf31 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG1966 View Post
This is exactly why I am seeking opinions on what to do. My advise from PSA and StarPaxMan was to just sell them. How can I do that?
You can't. I implore you to talk to a lawyer. Any advice you receive on here will be in the same vein I believe.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:56 PM
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At this point not much you can or should do about what you already sold, in my opinion.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:56 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmondobueno View Post
Oh yeah, you may want to talk directly with the investigators...
That is a GREAT idea! I know way more about this then I want to. I would cooperate FULLY with them and share everything I know! What did you do? Just call you local office and keep digging to find the right person? This is the best piece of advice I have been given to date. Thank you!
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:59 PM
Sean1125 Sean1125 is offline
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(edited to add more and formatting)
So does this mean there is no "PSA guarantee"?

The PSA Financial Guarantee of Grade & Authenticity
The PSA Financial Guarantee of Grade & Authenticity is fundamental to PSA's concept of third-party grading. The cash-back policy ensures the accuracy of the grade assigned to any PSA-graded card as long as the card remains in its tamper-evident holder. PSA guarantees that all cards submitted to it shall be graded in accordance with PSA grading standards and under the procedures of PSA. If PSA, in fact, concludes that the card in question no longer merits the PSA grade assigned or fails our authenticity standards, PSA will either: Buy the card from the submitter at the current market value if the card can no longer receive a numerical grade under PSA's standards or, Refund the difference in value between the original PSA grade and the current PSA grade if the grade is lowered. In this case, the card will also be returned to the customer along with the refund for the difference in value. The current market value is determined by PSA, based in part on SMR values and/or recent prices realized from the marketplace. PSA has sole discretion in regards to the buyback price. Click here for an important note about the PSA Holder.

Also on another section of the site (http://www.psacard.com/services/PSA_holder.chtml)
These are just some basic reminders and suggestions of how to avoid buying items that are purported to be PSA-authenticated or graded but, in reality, are not. A few precautionary measures can help protect you from buying fraudulent items and enhance your overall collecting experience. If you have any suspicions whatsoever, take a day or two to consider your decision and consult with colleagues or trusted advisors.

I have to agree with earlier posts, a lawyer is pretty necessary right now and no one can give you definitive answers except them.

Last edited by Sean1125; 01-23-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG1966 View Post
This is exactly why I am seeking opinions on what to do. My advise from PSA and StarPaxMan was to just sell them. How can I do that?
David, you need to talk with a lawyer.

I would also suggest you stop commenting in a public forum any further until you SPEAK WITH A LAWYER.

I wish you the best. I really do.
Keih
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:06 PM
DavidG1966 DavidG1966 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmondobueno View Post
David, you need to talk with a lawyer.

I would also suggest you stop commenting in a public forum any further until you SPEAK WITH A LAWYER.

I wish you the best. I really do.
Keih
It never dawned on me that the victim could be in trouble.
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:10 PM
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Well you do need to be careful because (1) you are potentially selling items you know may be fake, even if you aren't the one who faked them and (2) you are considering divulging information you agreed to keep confidential.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG1966 View Post
That is a GREAT idea! I know way more about this then I want to. I would cooperate FULLY with them and share everything I know! What did you do? Just call you local office and keep digging to find the right person? This is the best piece of advice I have been given to date. Thank you!
David, talk to that lawyer before you make any call. I did not have to do anything because, in my case, the Inspector General showed up with badges and shut us down, that is how I found out. So I had company attorneys all over hell and ended up with my own to protect myself. He worked for me and nobody else.
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
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...My advise from PSA...was to just sell them...
Holy crap.
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:21 PM
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Never get cheated!!









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  #20  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:21 PM
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Tread extremely carefully here. If you sell the packs you are going to bump in to the possibility of being charged with knowingly selling fraudulent items or selling them "knowing" or "SHOULD HAVE KNOWN" they were fraudulent based on the time frame.
Good advice not to discuss anything more on this Board. If it were me, I would delete all my posts on this board and not sell any of the packs.
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  #21  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:27 PM
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did the authentication company blow it again? well, that's just greaaaat, as elaine benis would say.

thats what people get for trusting them. they should be liable for all of this. if you have fake packs that a company certified, then go back to them for restitution.
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  #22  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:57 PM
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First response is probably the best response.

It would seem to me that the vast majority of the packs, possibly all of them, would be fake. And I expect that eventually the pack creator will tell investigators just that or may know exactly which ones. At that point they can be sent back to the grading company for the guaranty. So hold on to the packs for now.

I also think this thread should be deleted....or redacted

Last edited by egbeachley; 01-23-2013 at 03:03 PM. Reason: to add last 2 words
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:16 PM
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From what I understand this investigation and alleged fraud centered almost solely around '70's cello packs, many of them showing star cards on the top and often bottom.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:29 PM
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Shhhh.

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  #25  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:40 PM
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Shhhh.

What up, Jose?
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  #26  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
8) PSA's pack authenticator gave me the list of packs the person had authenticated. I do not know nor did the authenticator tell me which are real or fake.
I doubt very seriously that anyone aware of the situation with possession of a "list" would freely hand it over to anyone without a subpoena.
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:11 PM
36GoudeyMan 36GoudeyMan is offline
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Default OK, I AM a lawyer

.. and I have to tell you to shut the hell up NOW. Stop talking about what you know; you are jeopardizing the investigation and running into obstruction of justice issues (not liability yet, just issues), plus you are in possession of, and are talking about, confidential investigatory information. SHUT UP.

DO NOT SELL ANY PACKS if you have the slightest bit of concern over their authenticity. NONE. Knowing what you have stated publicly that you already know about the possible authenticity issues surrounding some/all of your packs, selling them now -- without the kind of disclosure that would be needed to insulate you from civil AND criminal liability -- would be ridiculous and personally dangerous, from a legal point of view.

Perhaps you have a civil claim, at this point, I'm not certain. But I can say this categorically: SHUT UP AND DO NOT SELL ANY PACKS. Do not discuss what you know with anyone but the investigators -- not with PSA, not with Steve Hart, NO ONE but the investigators. I join wholeheartedly in the chorus of posters telling you to get your OWN lawyer,not someone you might share with another victim, but your OWN. White collar criminal lawyers abound; you should have no trouble getting a referral from your local Bar or Bar Association if you or a friend does not know one. But get one, sooner rather than later, and talk to him/her immediately.
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by drmondobueno View Post
what up, jose?
lol !!
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  #29  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:55 PM
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So PSA is allegedly going after someone whom they believed submitted fraudulent items for PSA to grade and authenticate? Is this the first time they believe that's been done (doctored cards included)?
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffins View Post
From what I understand this investigation and alleged fraud centered almost solely around '70's cello packs, many of them showing star cards on the top and often bottom.
Actually Anthony,
it involves some 60s and 80s also all with stars on top and all with clear
evidence of being tampered with, in a way that should never get by an
expert, some of those stars should never be on top like for example
1979 Thrman Munson his card ony came in the bottom section and a
true expert should know that
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  #31  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:02 PM
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.....nevuh mind

Last edited by Runscott; 01-23-2013 at 08:08 PM.
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  #32  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:56 PM
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Last edited by queencitysportscards; 01-24-2013 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Wrong Thread
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  #33  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepis View Post
Actually Anthony,
it involves some 60s and 80s also all with stars on top and all with clear
evidence of being tampered with, in a way that should never get by an
expert, some of those stars should never be on top like for example
1979 Thrman Munson his card ony came in the bottom section and a
true expert should know that
Um, is this the accused fake pack creator making these statements in this thread? Of so.... um, wow.

Last edited by CW; 01-26-2013 at 12:06 AM. Reason: €hk Wlƒƒ
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:12 AM
CharleyBrown CharleyBrown is offline
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Wow,

If I remember some of the threads on the PSA boards, this guy was flaunting packs with Mantle on top, etc. - he had a killer collection, or so he made everyone believe he did...
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  #35  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
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Um, is this the accused fake pack creator making these statements in this thread? Of so.... um, wow.
There seems to be a lot more to this story. Tell us more pepis.
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  #36  
Old 01-24-2013, 07:21 AM
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Pepis, it seems you are in a world of hurt. Do you care to defend yourself??
OP you have a list of questionable items and have not yet been named in a suit?? Put that info in the air. Why wait until it is legally sealed info??
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  #37  
Old 01-24-2013, 07:30 AM
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Default Hmmm......

if only the OP was named coek, we could render a decision.
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  #38  
Old 01-24-2013, 09:58 AM
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Is Pepis the victim here? This thread started one way, with the OP talking about a "list" being released by PSA, which sounded more than strange to me, and PSA casually saying sell, sell, sell, as if it was not a touchy subject for them, yet conveyed to us as if it were. It then went to Pepis, who speaking less paranoid than the OP, communicated directly, matter of factly....And all along the OP asks about whether or not the FBI would go after victims, etc. Was Pepis trying to tell us something before this came up?: http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=161891

I guess we'll never know.

Last edited by Clutch-Hitter; 01-24-2013 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Gramattication Correctification
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  #39  
Old 01-24-2013, 11:47 AM
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What a strange thread. Did someone at PSA really tell someone to just sell items in their holders that are possibly fake? I find that incredulous.
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  #40  
Old 01-24-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slidekellyslide View Post
What a strange thread. Did someone at PSA really tell someone to just sell items in their holders that are possibly fake? I find that incredulous.
Its more than incredulous....I call B.S.

Neil
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  #41  
Old 01-24-2013, 12:24 PM
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The original poster seemed too scared and naive to make something up.
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  #42  
Old 01-24-2013, 12:35 PM
pepis pepis is offline
Jose Vazquez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdkammeyer View Post
Pepis, it seems you are in a world of hurt. Do you care to defend yourself??
OP you have a list of questionable items and have not yet been named in a suit?? Put that info in the air. Why wait until it is legally sealed info??
Absolutely no hurt!
when i started my only goal was to show the enormous amount of fraud
that exist in vintage packs and pack grading and if i have to sacrifice
the posibility of any jail time it will be well worth it as the saying goes
the TRUTH shall set me free.

Charley Brown,
the start of this venture started on 12/04/10 after i saw the cu thread in the pic
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Last edited by pepis; 02-20-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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  #43  
Old 01-24-2013, 12:35 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 36GoudeyMan View Post
.. and I have to tell you to shut the hell up NOW. Stop talking about what you know; you are jeopardizing the investigation and running into obstruction of justice issues (not liability yet, just issues), plus you are in possession of, and are talking about, confidential investigatory information. SHUT UP.

DO NOT SELL ANY PACKS if you have the slightest bit of concern over their authenticity. NONE. Knowing what you have stated publicly that you already know about the possible authenticity issues surrounding some/all of your packs, selling them now -- without the kind of disclosure that would be needed to insulate you from civil AND criminal liability -- would be ridiculous and personally dangerous, from a legal point of view.

Perhaps you have a civil claim, at this point, I'm not certain. But I can say this categorically: SHUT UP AND DO NOT SELL ANY PACKS. Do not discuss what you know with anyone but the investigators -- not with PSA, not with Steve Hart, NO ONE but the investigators. I join wholeheartedly in the chorus of posters telling you to get your OWN lawyer,not someone you might share with another victim, but your OWN. White collar criminal lawyers abound; you should have no trouble getting a referral from your local Bar or Bar Association if you or a friend does not know one. But get one, sooner rather than later, and talk to him/her immediately.
While my instinct and curiosity say different, the above is good advice from an actual lawyer. And while any free advice is worth what you paid I think in this case it's going to be well worth heeding.

The only thing I'd add would be to keep a copy of the list, and save off or print a copy of any communication you get about it.
The Emails etc because documenting stuff probably can't hurt, (Unless it's about stuff you've done) and the list because it may get buried, and there may eventually be an acceptable time to share it. Your lawyer will know that.


Steve B
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  #44  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:38 PM
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dstudeba dstudeba is offline
Dan Studebaker
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.

Last edited by dstudeba; 01-24-2013 at 02:30 PM. Reason: annonymity
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  #45  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:41 PM
cobblove cobblove is offline
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This guy seems like a crazy person trying to use this as an attack on steve. Steve does a great job at what he does. And I know everyone agrees who has ever meet to done any kind of deal with steve knows he's 100% honest and fair in his life. Not even a question about his character. Steve is human and Jose has shown that by having the packs authenticated and oked by Steve. Brought to light anything to do with a bogus pack steve will do whatever to make things right. If a few packs got by steve it shouldnt be seen as if Steve did it on purpose.Which is what Jose is saying? Crazy fing guy. Steve is giving an opinion that we all ask for because he shares all his knowledge that he has about this area of the hobby. Everyone makes mistakes and it seems easy to understand a few packs getting by the system. But what I dont get is the individual who started this mess by sending in what he knew were basement made packs just to show that people can make mistakes? And to say that steve did it on purpose is insaine and your character needs to be looked at.

Last edited by cobblove; 01-24-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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  #46  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:45 PM
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To all concerned, I am confident authorities are well aware of this thread. I don't think it's jeopardizing anything except a few people's freedom, which is not my main concern, or I would have heard about it.
Fact is certainly stranger than fiction. Kind of a crazy thread. And lastly, please remember our board rules concerning anonymity when posting. I will be putting names in posts, per the rules, when warranted. As the new CU rules say, no more warnings . Edited to add that I agree concerning Steve Hart. From everything I have heard and read he does a great job. If he got fooled then that just makes him human. It seems he is the best in the hobby at what he does, by a good distance.
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Last edited by Leon; 01-24-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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  #47  
Old 01-24-2013, 02:02 PM
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Peter_Spaeth Peter_Spaeth is online now
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We clearly don't have all the facts, but if my intent was to show PSA couldn't spot bad packs, I could have made some, sent them in, and then destroyed them or kept them on my shelf. It seems some of these have made their way onto the market, so how did that happen if the intent was pure? Kevin Saucier used to send some of his creations to grading services, as I recall, but didn't then sell them.
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  #48  
Old 01-24-2013, 02:41 PM
Cerberus Cerberus is offline
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Default I just got a call from................

................Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend. She's really enjoying this thread.
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  #49  
Old 01-24-2013, 02:59 PM
pepis pepis is offline
Jose Vazquez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepis View Post
Actually Anthony,
it involves some 60s and 80s also all with stars on top and all with clear
evidence of being tampered with, in a way that should never get by an
expert, some of those stars should never be on top like for example
1979 Thrman Munson his card ony came in the bottom section and a
true expert should know that
here is the example.

Last edited by pepis; 02-21-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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  #50  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:24 PM
Matthew H Matthew H is offline
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I heard there's some greedy people in this hobby... Is that true?
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