I was sued for defamation by Todd Mueller and Todd Mueller Autographs in 2014 and the case is still ongoing (along with others he and Nelson Deedle/Iconographs have filed against me).
One of the things Mueller sent me to answer a year or so ago was what is called a "Request for Admissions," where you are asked to admit to certain things.
One of Todd Mueller's requests is circled in the image above. He wanted me to admit that there is no forgery industry.
I thought that would be great topic to discuss:
Is there a forgery industry?
I find intriguing that admission 75 omits the word "knowingly," as that is easy to deny.
Not only is there a forgery industry, but more importantly there is a full fledged Forgery Conspiracy in our hobby today.
Industry is turning raw materials into something of value.....like taking a sharpie and a photo and combining the two, turning it into a signed photo being sold for far more than the blank photo.
The really sad part is when you contact individuals, especially autograph dealers and show them hundreds of samples of real authentic autographs alongside mountains of items created by forgers and the newly informed individual does nothing. They carry on with their business as usual, selling everything in their own stock, no matter where it comes from.
I consider this a conspiracy, where the dealer knowingly continues to pass on bad material.
I really wish that this was just a theoretical issue, but it is something I have dealt with over and over again, every single time a forger gets caught. People who have purchased material from that forger all rush to put the stuff up for sale to "get out" of their poorly chosen purchase. Passing along the problem piece(s) so that they don't end up being the loser. I have lost count of the times I have seen this happen.
You got beat, accept it and move on, if you can't get a refund, suck it up, shred the offending piece and let it go.
Do not pass on the garbage you bought to another unsuspecting buyer, if you do.....you are every bit as bad as the forger.
If you sell or trade an autograph that you are not 100% sure about, you are just joining the conspiracy... and sooner or later your actions will just be taking another possible collector out of this hobby. When they realize they got burned, Do you think they will ever want to collect autographs again?
Remember sooner or later your customer will ask opinions (possibly on this site) or maybe send the item to a TPA, maybe they will try and sell the item..... when it all falls apart, you will be the one blamed.
What is your reputation worth?
Great points, Pete.
I was going to write "It's funny how the good guys are always targeted," but the truth is, it isn't funny at all.
How did I find you? Was it through Roger Epperson, Dave Petersen, or the FBI?
Many of the "Vegas" stores are an industry in themselves.
There's also the Florida industry.