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  #1  
Old 02-27-2006, 12:03 PM
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kingjammy24 kingjammy24 is offline
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Default Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

http://beckett.com/news/index2.asp?a=246
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Feds seeking arrest of Illinois dealer
10/27/1999 2:59:26 PM

The FBI, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, has submitted an affidavit to obtain an arrest warrant for memorabilia dealer Steve Ryan, proprietor of North Shore Sports in Northbrook, Ill.

The FBI's latest move is part of the ongoing saga of Operation Foul Ball - a federal investigation targeting individuals and businesses involved in the manufacture and distribution of forged sports memorabilia. Operation Bullpen, a much broader investigation targeting similar fraudulent activities, was the sting operation involved in more than 50 raids across four states two weeks ago.

The criminal complaint indicates Ryan, whose actual name is Steve Levine, has violated mail and wire fraud laws related to the distribution of fraudulent memorabilia. According to the document, Ryan previously was arrested five times on violations ranging from larceny to obstruction of justice. His criminal record is under the name Levine.

North Shore Sports conducted its Final Millennium Major Phone Auction on Tuesday. This auction was carried out despite assurances from Ryan's attorney to the FBI that the auction would not take place. According to a federal agent who spoke with Beckett Hobby Insider on Tuesday, all the items in the auction were under subpoena and therefore could not be sold.

Furthermore, the document states Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME), the company that represents Michael Jordan, warned Ryan against hosting the auction. Tuesday's auction featured several Jordan items.

This was not the first time North Shore Sports conducted business involving Jordan items and against the wishes of FAME. The complaint states that on Dec. 13, 1996, Ryan received a cease and desist letter from Jordan's representatives. Despite that action, Ryan continued to "falsely imply that North Shore Sports has an exclusive relationship with Michael Jordan," the complaint states.

The document also states that throughout the investigation, the FBI identified "hundreds of items sold through Ryan's auction that have been misrepresented as something other than what they actually were." Also, the document states the FBI did inform Ryan "that the majority of Michael Jordan related items which he sold and continues to sell through his auction were (are) fraudulent."

In North Shore's auction tabloid - a supplement to the Oct. 29 issue of Sports Collectors Digest (SCD) - auction lots featuring Jordan memorabilia are accompanied by product descriptions using the names of SCD columnist Dave Miedema and New York-based Grey Flannel Auctions to lend credibility to the items' legitimacy.

The tabloid uses the names of these parties despite the fact Ryan was previously informed by federal agents that Miedema and Grey Flannel "have routinely authenticated forged items of sports memorabilia originating from Anthony Alyinovich, John Schwartz and others who have acknowledged marketing items which have the forged autographs of Michael Jordan and other athletes," according to the document.

Also, the document states that Ryan actually agreed with the FBI's findings that Miedema and Grey Flannel Auctions were not reputable authenticators.

Alyinovich pled guilty to mail fraud related to trafficking counterfeit sports memorabilia in July 1996. He received five years' probation. Schwartz, who was recently released from jail after serving more than a year, was convicted of mail fraud and tax evasion in February 1997.

The document also detailed the business relationship between Alyinovich and Miedema. Alyinovich indicated Miedema authenticated any item he gave Miedema. Alyinovich went on to explain that "he provided Miedema with large boxes that contained numerous items of sports memorabilia and that Miedema could generate certificates for each item of sports memorabilia within ten minutes." Also, Alyinovich said Miedema "on most occasions" did not even look at the memorabilia he was authenticating.

The document also states that during a search of the residence of former dealer Steve Berg, 200 blank certificates of authenticity with Miedema's signature were discovered. Berg, who formerly operated SDB Enterprises from his home in Chicago, pled guilty to selling forged memorabilia in April of this year. His sentencing is scheduled for next week. At a date following the search of his residence, Berg told the FBI that "Miedema would routinely provide certificates of authenticity for items which he never attempted to authenticate, and more importantly never saw."
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Rudy.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2006, 12:48 PM
earlywynnfan earlywynnfan is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

Hmmm...

Well, that's not good news!

ken
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2006, 12:56 PM
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Yankwood Yankwood is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

Am I missing something or is this story over 6 years old.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:04 PM
hblakewolf hblakewolf is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankwood
Am I missing something or is this story over 6 years old.
I was just going to respond with the same statement! What's the point of posting this information 6 years after the fact?

If you're simply looking for old "bad press", you can include stories on Mitchell Schumacher at MS SPORTS, Rick Kohl at BROADWAY RICKS, etc., etc., etc.

Rather than just post this 6 year old story, maybe you can take a different "positive" twist and provide us with an update on all parties involved?

Howard Wolf
hblakewolf@patmedia.net
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:07 PM
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kingjammy24 kingjammy24 is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

Yankwood: You're not missing anything at all. The story is indeed 6 yrs old. I posted it for 2 reasons:

1) Not everyone knows what happened 6 yrs ago.

2) There was some recent talk specifically of Miedema being on Ebay's "banned authenticators" list in a recent thread. I thought this article may possibly help to explain some issues in that thread.


Rudy.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2006, 01:11 PM
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kingjammy24 kingjammy24 is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

Howard,

While I can't speak for anyone else, if you've got factual stories of things such as this, then I'd be interested in hearing them. I don't know the Mitchell Schumacker story. Simply because it happened a long time ago doesn't mean I, and others, wouldn't be interested in learning about it. I'd hate for my knowledge to be relegated solely to things that've happened in the past 6 months.

As for a positive twist, I don't know what happened to the parties involved. If you do, please share your knowledge.

thanks,

Rudy.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2006, 01:21 PM
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R. C. Walker R. C. Walker is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

I think Dave has paid for this mistake. No need to drag his name through the mud once more.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:46 PM
flaco1801 flaco1801 is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

he paid for his mistake? you mean he made restitution to all those that got scammed? or he paid his debt to society? very different payments
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2006, 01:57 PM
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kingjammy24 kingjammy24 is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

R.C.

Again, I was not aware of this. Apparently several other Forum members were. (Why does there seem to be this assumption by some people that everyone here is aware of every hobby incident over the past decade?)
My intent was not to "drag Dave's name through the mud once more". Perhaps people should stop having the assumption that I've posted for this reason or the assumption that I, and others, were aware of what happened 6 yrs ago. I simply noticed a few members wondering why Dave was on Ebay's banned list. I too was curious so I started searching and came across this article. I posted it for no other reason than to inform others of what I had just read. I'm not even sure how it all panned out in the end which is why I simply posted the article with no additional commentary.

Rudy.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:58 PM
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trsent trsent is offline
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Default Re: Dave Miedema, Grey Flannel, North Shore Sports

I can tell you that Dave Miedema never intentionally authenticated any items that he knew were not genuine. Seriously, if you have ever met Dave, he is one of the more knowledgeable people in authenticating game used 1970s baseball jerseys, but Dave got in with the wrong people at the wrong time.

To be to the point, I often felt Dave was authenticating items because he needed the $5.00 per letter (or whatever he charged) to pay for his medical expenses at the time. Maybe it was his wife's expenses. I have been out of the Chicago scene for years, but I do remember Dave was losing his eyesight and I believe he trusted the people who he was writing letters for at the time.

In other words, someone would tell him they had 20 legitimate Michael Jordan autographed photos, and Dave would write him 20 letters. Dave was in sad health shape (or maybe it was his wife, I just don't remember) and would write letters based on people telling him their items were genuine.

Unfortunately, Dave will have a bad rap from now until the end of time because of this. I have known Dave for about 21 years, as I used see him at baseball card shows back in the day. Dave used to sit outside where ever the baseball players were and have them autograph cards in his notebook. I remember once seeing someone like Dickie Thon autograph around 100 cards for Dave in the Wrigley Field parking lot.

I just couldn't believe a player would sit there that long and autograph so many cards. Maybe it was because Dave always had an appearance of being a little off or slow, maybe the players back then figured if someone had 100 of their baseball cards, why not sign them.

Again, I am not condoning what Dave did, just the facts are simple - Dave was desperate and trusted the wrong people telling them they needed letters for not legitimate items.

You all can bash me for defending Dave Miedema today, but the truth is if you could sit down and interview him for a few hours you would find his life in sports autographs and game used 1970s baseball jerseys to be quite a neat story.
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