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  #51  
Old 08-04-2021, 10:07 PM
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I can't believe that he will be permitted to be a part of the hobby in any fashion.
What does that even mean? He spent a significant time in jail away from his family. If you think this is nothing spend a day or two behind bars yourself and see if you still think it is nothing. How much did you lose as a result of Mastro? No one wants to answer the question. Iím going to guess very little if anything.
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  #52  
Old 08-04-2021, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bdk1976 View Post
Nice read but unfortunately not emblematic of the hobby at large. The sleaze that is openly put up with in this hobby these days is insane.
It's been true for a long time. Obviously there are many fine individuals and businesses, but on the whole the hobby institutions that could make a difference are on the wrong side of the fence IMO.
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  #53  
Old 08-04-2021, 11:01 PM
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What does that even mean? He spent a significant time in jail away from his family. If you think this is nothing spend a day or two behind bars yourself and see if you still think it is nothing. How much did you lose as a result of Mastro? No one wants to answer the question. I’m going to guess very little if anything.
I never lost a cent with this guy but I did lose a lot with people like him. As a kid I had a dealer like Bill sell me a 181 Ruth that was fake. Did I lose money? Sure, if it was real when I went to sell it I was probably out 15-20k. The greater sin was loss of trust.
Bill chose to risk being away from his family out of his own personal arrogance and hubris, shame on him for risking his family for business. Why would a man even risk being away from his children by breaking the law?
Bill chose to betray people's trust for profit. Would you do the same?
Seriously, would you sell me an altered card knowing I was bidding on it as genuine?
Would you treat me so poorly as a bidder that you would have your friends shill bid so I paid more?
Would you victimize your family and clients the way Bill did? I'm guessing no.
He might of showed up at the Natty with hat in hand looking for forgiveness but he certainly hasn't made amends to the people he victimized.
He sounds like a nice guy, believe me, all guys like that are likable, that's their gig. I would question his moral compass and integrity as a human but that's just me.
He didn't rip me off but he has a reputation for ripping people off so I would take a hard pass on him being a part of my life.
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  #54  
Old 08-04-2021, 11:37 PM
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Phil-Iím not saying that Bill did nothing wrong, he did and he paid the price for it. All I am saying is that now that he paid the price he should be free to live a happy and productive life. I wasnít at the National but I doubt that Bill came hat in hand begging forgiveness. He probably came to visit with some old friends. If I was there I would have loved to have seen him.
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  #55  
Old 08-04-2021, 11:58 PM
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Phil-Iím not saying that Bill did nothing wrong, he did and he paid the price for it. All I am saying is that now that he paid the price he should be free to live a happy and productive life. I wasnít at the National but I doubt that Bill came hat in hand begging forgiveness. He probably came to visit with some old friends. If I was there I would have loved to have seen him.
No doubt, it's clear that he has made friends over the course of his involvement in this hobby. I've also had friends that I have had to distance from myself and my family due to their behavior. Paying the price should actually be making all of his victims whole, not just the Feds, I would posit he's halfway home but that 2nd half is the hardest part. To be clear, he sacrificed his family for greed, not sure he could ever make that up to his children. Think about the thought process of a man who would do that, he made that decision all by himself as an adult male with a family when no one was looking, that's a big moral leap that reveals a mans character.
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  #56  
Old 08-05-2021, 01:24 AM
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Is he allowed to be involved back in the hobby?
The definitive answer to this is yes. Mastro "pledged through his attorneys that he would never again work in the sports memorabilia business" on a pre-sentencing memo. He and his lawyers must have reasoned that would help with sentencing. It is by no means binding but it would certainly be unethical to break your word there. I never met the man, but my understanding is that ethics isn't his strong suit.

https://www.sportscollectorsdaily.co...leased-prison/
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  #57  
Old 08-05-2021, 07:29 AM
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The ass kissing of this prick is pathetic.

+100000. I hope he and all the other crooks in the hobby end up eating out of KFC garbage bins.
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  #58  
Old 08-05-2021, 08:41 AM
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Meanwhile, the reality is that many of the crooks have made millions over the years, are living quite well, and are at little or no risk.
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  #59  
Old 08-05-2021, 09:41 AM
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Meanwhile, the reality is that many of the crooks have made millions over the years, are living quite well, and are at little or no risk.
100% Agree and made it off the backs of others that lost what that could not afford to
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  #60  
Old 08-05-2021, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Meanwhile, the reality is that many of the crooks have made millions over the years, are living quite well, and are at little or no risk.
This.

They made an example of Mastro and his gang, because they were "King of the Hill" at the time (and deserved what they got). But for some reason they continue to turn a blind eye to those who are even more blatantly corrupt (and are currently thriving).

Trimming, altering, shilling and lying should be punishable crimes, regardless of your selling platform or who you are.
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  #61  
Old 08-05-2021, 10:25 AM
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This.

They made an example of Mastro and his gang, because they were "King of the Hill" at the time (and deserved what they got). But for some reason they continue to turn a blind eye to those who are even more blatantly corrupt (and are currently thriving).

Trimming, altering, shilling and lying should be punishable crimes, regardless of your selling platform or who you are.
Honestly, if I were a federal agent or prosecutor, and I saw how little impact on behavior all the revelations over the last couple of years have had, and how the collecting/investing world just wants more and more of the same, I might question if going after card doctors and their enablers was really the most productive use of my time and resources. Particularly where the rules of evidence would make most of these tougher cases to prove in court than it might appear on a chatboard.
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  #62  
Old 08-05-2021, 10:38 AM
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Going back to the Feds hauling people out of the National, a couple years ago in Cleveland they hauled away Tony Podsada. Anyone know what happened to him?
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  #63  
Old 08-05-2021, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by oldjudge View Post
What does that even mean? He spent a significant time in jail away from his family. If you think this is nothing spend a day or two behind bars yourself and see if you still think it is nothing. How much did you lose as a result of Mastro? No one wants to answer the question. Iím going to guess very little if anything.
Jay, I only meant I assumed, as others pointed out, that at his sentencing he was prohibited from ever engaging in the collectibles industry again.
In 2005 or so, when I decided to fold the Full Count tent, I auctioned off the inventory and my personal collection via Kevin Struss to Mastro. With Kevin as my watchdog, I doubt there was any hanky panky but the results were indifferent. For example, I sold a M101-5 RC of Ruth SGC 5.5 personally graded by Derek Grady when he was with SGC and received about $15,000. I shudder to think what that card would fetch in today's market.
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  #64  
Old 08-05-2021, 10:44 AM
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Jay, I only meant I assumed, as others pointed out, that at his sentencing he was prohibited from ever engaging in the collectibles industry again.
In 2005 or so, when I decided to fold the Full Count tent, I auctioned off the inventory and my personal collection via Kevin Struss to Mastro. With Kevin as my watchdog, I doubt there was any hanky panky but the results were indifferent. For example, I sold a M101-5 RC of Ruth SGC 5.5 personally graded by Derek Grady when he was with SGC and received about $15,000. I shudder to think what that card would fetch in today's market.
He isn't prohibited.
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  #65  
Old 08-05-2021, 10:50 AM
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Going back to the Feds hauling people out of the National, a couple years ago in Cleveland they hauled away Tony Podsada. Anyone know what happened to him?
As best I can tell he was indicted by a grand jury a while ago but I don't see anything beyond that.
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  #66  
Old 08-05-2021, 11:22 AM
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In the late 1990s I turned down buying a full M101-4 set in Ex-Mt or better condition for $10k. That was the market then. Why no talk about all the shill bidders in the hobby who never were prosecuted.
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  #67  
Old 08-05-2021, 12:00 PM
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He isn't prohibited.
This is accurate. Mastro (de facto) promised Judge Guzman he would never work in the hobby after his release. The judge's sentence took that into account, in addition to the Catholic charity/volunteering as mitigating factors. Mastro pled guilty to mail fraud which carried up to a five-year sentence; instead he received a shade over a year and a half.

But if he ever turned up in front of Guzman again for a hobby-related crime...watch out. At sentencing he'd be effed with a capital "F".
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  #68  
Old 08-05-2021, 12:18 PM
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This is accurate. Mastro (de facto) promised Judge Guzman he would never work in the hobby after his release. The judge's sentence took that into account, in addition to the Catholic charity/volunteering as mitigating factors. Mastro pled guilty to mail fraud which carried up to a five-year sentence; instead he received a shade over a year and a half.

But if he ever turned up in front of Guzman again for a hobby-related crime...watch out. At sentencing he'd be effed with a capital "F".
Right, but I think where people may be confused is that it isn't actually part of his sentence, as it sometimes is, for example, in insider trading convictions.
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  #69  
Old 08-05-2021, 02:13 PM
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Certainly sounds like what I was thinking I had heard. I know legally it wouldn't prove anything but man I'd be tempted to send Judge Guzman a link to this thread...
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  #70  
Old 08-05-2021, 02:28 PM
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Certainly sounds like what I was thinking I had heard. I know legally it wouldn't prove anything but man I'd be tempted to send Judge Guzman a link to this thread...
Because he talked to a dealer at a show??
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  #71  
Old 08-05-2021, 02:48 PM
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Phil-Iím not saying that Bill did nothing wrong, he did and he paid the price for it. All I am saying is that now that he paid the price he should be free to live a happy and productive life. I wasnít at the National but I doubt that Bill came hat in hand begging forgiveness. He probably came to visit with some old friends. If I was there I would have loved to have seen him.
So you'd have no problem with him getting back into the card business if he decided to?
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  #72  
Old 08-05-2021, 03:44 PM
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Right, but I think where people may be confused is that it isn't actually part of his sentence, as it sometimes is, for example, in insider trading convictions.
This is the only section of the sentencing memorandum that covers future business dealings;
Quote:
"Bill has been out of the sports memorabilia industry since February 2009. He cannot and would not go back. His case is now an epic tale within the industry, a lesson to all about the consequences of auction-related misconduct. It is for this reason that even the Government has advised this Court that Billís public confessions 'provide a strong deterrent message to others in the industry, which was an additional benefit to the government in this case.'Ē
After reading the memo, I personally can't write off Net54 members' positive comments in this thread regarding Mastro as "ass kissing". It's too wide of a generalization. As for the ones who view Mastro as having saved their lives in AA, it's going to be a hard sell convincing them to abandon him over a mail fraud conviction.

Try to imagine the next time Ken Kendrick's Wagner finally goes to auction. Do you think anyone who bids on it will care Mastro altered it? It will be listed as a "restored" PSA 8 and will easily haul in eight figures.

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  #73  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:14 PM
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So you'd have no problem with him getting back into the card business if he decided to?
If there is nothing legally in place that precludes him from doing this then I would have no problem with it. That said, I donít think it would happen.
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  #74  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:26 PM
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Why no talk about all the shill bidders in the hobby who never were prosecuted.
Because what other people did has nothing to do with whether these two are crooks who should be (metaphorically) tarred, feathered and run out of the hobby on a rail rather than embraced. Just like "everyone else was speeding" is not a defense to your speeding ticket if you were speeding.
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  #75  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:44 PM
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If there is nothing legally in place that precludes him from doing this then I would have no problem with it. That said, I don’t think it would happen.
It won't happen, you're right, and it shouldn't IMO, but it would be interesting hypothetically to see what happened if it did. I suspect we as a hobby are so much like crack addicts that if he had material, he would do just fine.
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  #76  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:56 PM
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It won't happen, you're right, and it shouldn't IMO, but it would be interesting hypothetically to see what happened if it did. I suspect we as a hobby are so much like crack addicts that if he had material, he would do just fine.
I suspect you're correct. Furthermore, he would probably do well even if that material was altered yet numerically graded by PSA.
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  #77  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:57 PM
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I suspect you're correct. Furthermore, he would probably do well even if that material was altered yet numerically graded by PSA.
Better, I suspect, that's how this hobby seems to work.
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  #78  
Old 08-05-2021, 05:00 PM
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It won't happen, you're right, and it shouldn't IMO, but it would be interesting hypothetically to see what happened if it did. I suspect we as a hobby are so much like crack addicts that if he had material, he would do just fine.
We don't need hypothetical, we have a history of examples of what would happen. He would send out a catalog, people would say "I can't believe anyone consigned to him", many people would publicly say "I won't bid with him", and then the auction would do fine. Within five years he would be at least in the top ten in size and 90% of the people wouldn't think twice about bidding with him, and 50% of the people would think he is one of the "good guys" and publicly defend him.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:02 PM
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We don't need hypothetical, we have a history of examples of what would happen. He would send out a catalog, people would say "I can't believe anyone consigned to him", many people would publicly say "I won't bid with him", and then the auction would do fine. Within five years he would be at least in the top ten in size and 90% of the people wouldn't think twice about bidding with him, and 50% of the people would think he is one of the "good guys" and publicly defend him.
Hmmm... I don't disagree with your scenario at all, but just in terms of history, how many people do we have who have been convicted of hobby fraud and served time then come back?
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:07 PM
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Better, I suspect, that's how this hobby seems to work.
I am often reminded of three things you've written here at various times. Pardon me for paraphrasing:
  • Stuff trumps all
  • People collect flips, not cards
  • The registry is a powerful drug

Sadly, a large segment of the hobby has turned cardboard and plastic into little more than a d*** measuring contest. It seems, at times, the cards have become (or always were) secondary for some people.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:11 PM
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I am often reminded of three things you've written here at various times. Pardon me for paraphrasing:
  • Stuff trumps all
  • People collect flips, not cards
  • The registry is a powerful drug

Sadly, a large segment of the hobby has turned cardboard and plastic into little more than a d*** measuring contest. It seems, at times, the cards have become (or always were) secondary for some people.
We're really seeing that with all the cards being given to the PWCC Vault, are we not? People are perfectly willing to buy cards and never take possession of them or look at them, apparently. Just assets.
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 08-05-2021 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:25 PM
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We're really seeing that with all the cards being given to the PWCC Vault, are we not? People are perfectly willing to buy cards and never take possession of them or look at them, apparently. Just assets.
Indeed. Nature of the 2021 hobby beast, I suppose.

On the flip side, no pun intended, there has been an influx of younger collectors lately. For many years, I heard that the hobby was going to die because nobody collected except old guys.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:43 PM
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Hmmm... I don't disagree with your scenario at all, but just in terms of history, how many people do we have who have been convicted of hobby fraud and served time then come back?
There probably isn't someone who exactly meets that criteria however there are enough similar situations in terms of hobby frauds and serving time to provide guidance. Convictions might not have been for hobby fraud and hobby frauds might not have been convicted.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:55 PM
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What does that even mean? He spent a significant time in jail away from his family. If you think this is nothing spend a day or two behind bars yourself and see if you still think it is nothing. How much did you lose as a result of Mastro? No one wants to answer the question. Iím going to guess very little if anything.
how long were you locked up for?
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:56 PM
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There probably isn't someone who exactly meets that criteria however there are enough similar situations in terms of hobby frauds and serving time to provide guidance. Convictions might not have been for hobby fraud and hobby frauds might not have been convicted.
Fair enough but I agree someone could probably overcome a conviction for hobby fraud in the current atmosphere.
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:18 PM
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Because what other people did has nothing to do with whether these two are crooks who should be (metaphorically) tarred, feathered and run out of the hobby on a rail rather than embraced. Just like "everyone else was speeding" is not a defense to your speeding ticket if you were speeding.
Luckily, we have a criminal justice system which metes out punishment rather than a bunch of yahoos with a lynch mob mentality. Am I hearing that you donít believe in the criminal justice system? Having said that you have a right to deal with whomever you choose. Just accept that others can also decide for themselves. I just find it interesting that people are getting agita because Mastro dared to enter the sacred grounds of the National but these same people have no trouble dealing with documented shill bidders who never were punished for their crimes.
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:24 PM
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I would not say a single word in defense of Mastro, but you could pick 20 people off the floor of the National who have done just as much or more damage to the hobby, that is if you consider altered cards a bad thing.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:41 PM
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Luckily, we have a criminal justice system which metes out punishment rather than a bunch of yahoos with a lynch mob mentality. Am I hearing that you donít believe in the criminal justice system? Having said that you have a right to deal with whomever you choose. Just accept that others can also decide for themselves. I just find it interesting that people are getting agita because Mastro dared to enter the sacred grounds of the National but these same people have no trouble dealing with documented shill bidders who never were punished for their crimes.
+1, hanging is not enough for some.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:18 AM
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I would not say a single word in defense of Mastro, but you could pick 20 people off the floor of the National who have done just as much or more damage to the hobby, that is if you consider altered cards a bad thing.
Agreed 100%
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Old 08-06-2021, 07:23 AM
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To correct an earlier post, Bill Mastro is not from Chicago or the Chicago Area. He is from Bernardsville NJ. About 30 Minutes from New York City.
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Old 08-06-2021, 09:28 AM
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[QUOTE=Peter_Spaeth;2130790]I would not say a single word in defense of Mastro, but you could pick 20 people off the floor of the National who have done just as much or more damage to the hobby, that is if you consider altered cards a bad thing.[

Peter, are you willing to out the 20? I believe collectors should know who they are dealing with.
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Old 08-06-2021, 09:42 AM
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Let's All Be Friends and Get back to basics.

Share your pictures of your cards from NATIONALS (I did not go but Here is a card)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg E90-1.jpg (72.7 KB, 399 views)
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  #93  
Old 08-06-2021, 12:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Yoda;2130901]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
I would not say a single word in defense of Mastro, but you could pick 20 people off the floor of the National who have done just as much or more damage to the hobby, that is if you consider altered cards a bad thing.[

Peter, are you willing to out the 20? I believe collectors should know who they are dealing with.
Majority already know - they ain't stupid.
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  #94  
Old 08-06-2021, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrreality68 View Post
Let's All Be Friends and Get back to basics.

Share your pictures of your cards from NATIONALS (I did not go but Here is a card)
Jeffrey-You are taunting the haters. That card image looks exactly like a young Bill Mastro.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:22 PM
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I believe this is the first National in some time where the Feds didnít show up and arrest someone. With all thatís going on in the hobby right now, I find that remarkable!
Not sure if the Feds got involved, but a dude did get arrested for stealing cards at the National last week.

https://youtu.be/T4O3nV3Gssw
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  #96  
Old 09-06-2021, 04:08 PM
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Old 09-06-2021, 04:19 PM
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Not surprised he got off
Surprised how long it took to let him off
and his punishment is to pay back the $300 he to from the person he sold the fake item to

Makes it easy for those who chose to do wrong

Simply amazing
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1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1914 CJ Christy Christopher Mathewson
T206 Eddie Plank
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:52 PM
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So on the one hand some are saying he's been cracked and resubbed, and hopefully goes from ?auth to a number...

And others would have it be like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYJmFOxNew0
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