Hello & Welcome to our community. Is this your first visit? Register
Follow us on
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Linked In Flickr Watch us on YouTube My Space Blogger
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30
  1. #1
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,682

    Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    There is only one Jordan

    Auction jersey revealed as fraud


    BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
    DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

    Sunday, August 19th 2007, 4:00 AM

    It was a hell of a party, according to the press release issued by Mastro Auctions. About 300 sports collectible movers and shakers, many in town for the National Sports Collectors Convention, bid on 83 coveted pieces at Mastro's inaugural live auction, held Aug. 3 at the House of Blues in Cleveland.

    A collection of rare T215 Pirate cigarette cards sold for $960,000, a record for a set of cards. Yankee manager Miller Huggins' 1927 World Series ring went for $204,000. One collector even spent $192,000 on a T206 Honus Wagner card in poor condition. But the event wasn't just about conspicuous consumption; Mastro Auctions also raised $20,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

    "It's a terrific exclamation point to an already spectacular evening," Mastro Auctions president Doug Allen said in the press release.

    The hangover from the event, however, just won't go away. One item, advertised as a Michael Jordan North Carolina warm-up shirt, sold for $11,000 even though questions had been raised about its authenticity well before the auction took place. Collectors cried foul on Game-Used Forum.com, a memorabilia Web site, and began investigating the shirt. Mastro Auctions voided the sale and sent the jersey back to the authentication service that raised the initial doubts for further review.

    But the controversy over the "Jordan" shirt appears far from over: It has added new pressure to calls for greater regulation and standards for the dog-eat-dog world of sports memorabilia. The shirt has also attracted the interest of the FBI, which as the Daily News reported last month, has already begun an investigation into business practices at Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia's largest auction house.

    To prepare for the live auction, Mastro employees sent the shirt and other items to Memorabilia Evaluation and Research Services, one of the hobby's leading authentication services. MEARS examined the shirt on July 1, and concluded that while it appeared to be a North Carolina shooting shirt from the 1980s, it did not belong to Jordan.

    When the shirt was placed over a light table, it was apparent that another name had been removed from the back and replaced with "JORDAN." The letters also seemed to be made of different materials than other patches on the piece, according to the MEARS work sheet.

    "The Michael Jordan shirt we evaluated did not start its life as a Michael Jordan shirt," MEARS authenticator Troy Kinunen said.

    MEARS' opinion was seconded by the University of North Carolina; officials there told the Daily News that Jordan still has his warm-up shirt.

    Mastro Auctions, however, submitted the shirt to another authenticator, Lou Lampson; the auction catalogue said the shirt was accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Lampson but made no mention of MEARS' evaluation or opinion. In the days before the auction, Game-Used Forum members posted numerous comments about the conflicting opinions; one member said he E-mailed Mastro's Allen about the jersey but Allen did not respond. The shirt received seven bids and sold for $11,000, according to Mastro Auctions Web site.

    "If Mastro did not inform the winning bidder of MEARS' findings, then, that is damn shady," one forum member wrote.

    A week after the auction, another Game-Used Forum member said he had been contacted by an ACC basketball fan who said stains on the "Jordan" shirt looked remarkably similar to stains on a shirt he owned for several years. The ACC fan, a collector named Jim Reed, told the Daily News he had purchased the shirt from Ranzino Smith, who joined the Tar Heels in 1985, the year after Jordan left school and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls.

    Reed said he sold the shirt to Eric Inselberg, a New Jersey dealer/collector, late last year, but he is convinced it is the same item Mastro sold this month. "This thing was in my display room for three years," Reed said. "I know my shirt."

    Inselberg told the News he sold the shirt at a Westchester memorabilia show in January. Inselberg claimed he didn't know the buyer and since the buyer paid cash, he had no way to contact him.

    Allen told the Daily News before the auction that he was not aware that MEARS had doubts about the jersey; he did not return calls last week. But in an e-mail to Kinunen that was posted on the Game-Used Forum, he said Inselberg was not the consigner. The shirt was one of the last items sent to MEARS and Allen blamed deadline pressures for the screw-up.

    "I had gotten the message from my guys that you 'were not comfortable signing off on it' so I told them to go ahead and run it with the Lou Lampson letter since he was comfortable issuing an LOA on the shirt. Unfortunately we never received your 'letter' which explained the details of the name change and the reason you were not comfortable opining on the shirt. If I had known this I would have immediately pulled it from the auction," Allen wrote.

    "The first time I had been informed about potential issues with the shirt was on August 2nd when a reporter inquired about the letter you issued. At the time I was not aware a letter detailing findings had been issued and I notified him of that fact. When I got back to the office after the National I was finally able to review your letter and review the concerns expressed on the Game-Used Forum."

    But by the time Allen's E-mail had been posted on the Game-Used Forum, the FBI had already begun investigating the sale of the jersey. The bureau's Chicago office - whose "Operation Foul Ball" smashed a multistate autograph forgery ring in the '90s - has already interviewed an authentication-service executive and two collectors about the jersey, according to sources.

    As the Daily News reported in July, Chicago-based investigators have already questioned Bill Brandt, the president of Development Specialists Inc., the company hired by the state of Ohio to liquidate coins and collectibles purchased with state money by Tom Noe, the Republican Party official convicted last year of stealing from a $50 million workers compensation fund and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Noe had purchased thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia from Mastro, Brandt and Ohio law-enforcement officials have said. The investigators have also questioned two hobby executives who asked not to be identified.

    An FBI official said he could not confirm or deny an investigation is underway, but regardless of what happens, the incident has left a bad taste in some collectors' mouths.

    "I saw this warm-up at the National and thought it was awesome," one collector wrote on the Game-Used Forum. "I was gonna have a friend bid on it for me ... thank goodness that I didn't."

    Name:  amd_jersey_back.jpg
Views: 843
Size:  14.3 KB
    Collector Jim Reed believes this Ranzino Smith warm-up he once owned was mysteriously transformed into a Michael Jordan shirt.
    Name:  amd_jersey_front.jpg
Views: 842
Size:  15.6 KB
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/mo...ne_jordan.html
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  2. #2

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    Thanks for the Post and lots of props to GUF. Hopefully we can get some updates as the story unfolds more. With the FBI involved, this will not be a happy ending for someone or someone(s).

    The shirt has also attracted the interest of the FBI, which as the Daily News reported last month, has already begun an investigation into business practices at Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia's largest auction house.
    Looks like there is at least one Mr. X between Inselberg to Mastronet as the shirt looks like it went from Jim Reed to Eric Inselberg to Mr. X to Mastronet.

    Mastronet's price looks like it went for $11,000. Just curious, does anyone know what Jim Reed sold it to Inselberg for?

    Reed said he sold the shirt to Eric Inselberg, a New Jersey dealer/collector, late last year, but he is convinced it is the same item Mastro sold this month. "This thing was in my display room for three years," Reed said. "I know my shirt."

    Inselberg told the News he sold the shirt at a Westchester memorabilia show in January. Inselberg claimed he didn't know the buyer and since the buyer paid cash, he had no way to contact him.

  3. #3

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    Quote Originally Posted by allstarsplus View Post

    Looks like there is at least one Mr. X between Inselberg to Mastronet as the shirt looks like it went from Jim Reed to Eric Inselberg to Mr. X to Mastronet.
    This is easily the best work of this forum.
    I would still like to know if there really is a "Mr. X". The existence of a "Mr. X" has only been verified by Mastro and Inselberg. Doesn't Mastro know the name of the consignor?

    The Jordan shooting shirt is now officially, "infamous".

  4. #4

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    Quote Originally Posted by both-teams-played-hard View Post
    Doesn't Mastro know the name of the consignor?
    Of course Mastro knows who their consignor is, as the consignor wants to get paid at some point they would have filled out consignment paperwork.

    There's no consignor-client privilege here that I am aware of. If Mastro wants to find out what is really going on, Mastro should post the name of the consignor at this point.

    Andrew

  5. #5

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    I thought it would be refreshing for folks to see the real Jordan shooting shirt. These photos were taken by my Dad in January 1984 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The first photo is Mike and his college roomate, Buzz Peterson. The second is Dave Popson, Sam Perkins and Joe Wolf (doesn't he look just like current Heel, Tyler Hansbrough?). Notice MJ's bald head. This is the first photo of Michael Jordan EVER taken with a shaved head. He shaved it before this game with N.C. State. He let his hair grow after this, and never shaved it again until he was a Chicago Bull.


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    309

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    When all is said and done there will be no mystery middle man, or Mr. X. Keep in mind Inselberg claimed to still have the jersey when first questioned about it. It was only later that he "remembered" having sold it.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    Quote Originally Posted by jdr3 View Post
    When all is said and done there will be no mystery middle man, or Mr. X. Keep in mind Inselberg claimed to still have the jersey when first questioned about it. It was only later that he "remembered" having sold it.

    interesting info, didn't see that in the article, guess you have "inside info", will wait to see how it unfolds....

    It's interesting how there are only two companies that are deemed reliable sources for issuing LOA's. How can anyone be assured that anything game worn is legit?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,128

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    all i can say is WOW! fantastic work guys and thanks for the link to the article! and thanks for those great classic photos btph!

    heck, while o'keefe is at it he should go ahead and take a look at another $11k item that recently sold at mastro - the game used butkus lid that even butkus was "bothered" by...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,682

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    Quote Originally Posted by jdwtn View Post
    interesting info, didn't see that in the article, guess you have "inside info", will wait to see how it unfolds....

    It's interesting how there are only two companies that are deemed reliable sources for issuing LOA's. How can anyone be assured that anything game worn is legit?
    Jdwtn-

    Please email me at ecky3@aol.com. I'd like to confirm your regsitration information.

    Thank you
    Eric Stangel
    administrator
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,682

    Re: Mastro Jordan Fraud Story in NY Daily News

    The story has been picked up on a couple of other websites

    http://www.blogowogo.com/blog_articl...aid=923569&t=4

    http://dodgersblueheaven.blogspot.co...fbi-again.html

    It has 114 posts on the vintage baseball forum
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/15365...Mastro+and+FBI
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:38 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.5
Copyright © 2018 vBulletin Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Skin By: PurevB.com