to trading card companies. Charges stem from four-year investigation
BY Michael O'keeffe
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Three sports memorabilia dealers accused of selling bogus game-used jerseys to trading card companies and other collectors pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Monday in Illinois federal court.
A statement released by Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, says Bernard Gernay of Howell, N.J., Bradley Horne of Sunset, S.C., and Jarrod Oldridge of Las Vegas acknowledged that they altered jerseys obtained from retail outlets and other sources to make them appear to be used in games by pro athletes, substantially increasing their value.
The charges stem from a four-year investigation into fraud in the sports memorabilia industry that has been conducted by the Chicago FBI and other federal agencies. Executives from some of the most prominent companies in sports memorabilia – including Legendary Auctions, Grey Flannel, Professional Sports Authenticators and now-defunct Mastro Auctions – have been questioned at sports memorabilia shows in recent years.
Plea agreements filed in federal court on Monday say Gernay, Horne and Oldridge have agreed to provide information to investigators and testify in civil or criminal proceedings – which may mean that the dealers will be used by federal prosecutors as witnesses in cases against other memorabilia industry executives.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 2, 2012. The maximum prison sentence for mail fraud is 20 years.
Oldridge is the owner of JO Sports Co., a Las Vegas company that has contracts with the Jets and several other teams to sell jerseys, helmets, game balls and other memorabilia that were used in NFL games.
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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, November 21 2011Fourth dealer pleads guilty to mail fraud charges 11/25/2011
Sports Collectors Daily.com
11/25/2011This post has been edited by finestkind: Nov 28 2011, 01:38 AM