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?

Tags: autograph, forgery industry, lawsuit, todd mueller autographs

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Hey Steve, I just made my donation.  Thanks for all you do and good luck.


Steve, there is no "Thank you" necessary.

We are the ones that should be "Thanking you."

We written, Devon.

This might be stuff you've already thought about, but...are their lawyers ON THIS SITE, that would donate time for this fight? In all different walks of life, people donate their time for things. It seems a lawyer would, if they're a collector and/or if they've been burned.

Or...would a law firm be willing to work on this for the publicity? Or, if you could prove to them that this case is easy to defend, and...will you be able to counter-sue for all your attorneys fees back? I think people would be more apt to donate, also...if we're told that yes, in the counter-suit, which should be easy to win, attorneys fees and donations would be paid back if you win.

Also...won't it hurt their case, all the previous BS they've done? Judges can read that, and see immediately who the bad guy is.


I'm no expert on the american justice system, but how in the hell can those clowns think they can win?

Hi Steve.

Can you please send me your PayPal address?

I want to send a donation.


Just made a donation.  Thanks Steve for always being there when I had a question and thanks for this great forum!  I have learned so much and hopefully will and have given a little back. 


I am a bookseller. I came to know this site while researching a group of photographs that fell into my lap. Many were signed and authenticity seemed incredibly dubious to me. I found this site to be a wealth of information and it's members very helpful in assisting with my queries. Thank you.

I mean no disrespect, but I've always found the entire field of autograph collecting to be fascinating, and these ongoing legal feuds even more so. The very idea that an authenticator could without any context, look at, say, a random, signed, cut slip of paper from a scrapbook and say, "Yep, that's Stonewall Jackson's signature alright. He's been dead for 150 years and I didn't see him do it, but he definitely signed it. As an expert, I authenticate it," is just incredibly bizarre. 

And when people says things like commenter Rick Meyer below:

"There definitely is a forgery industry. The forgery industry is larger then the actual autograph industry."

I have to wonder, why does anyone trust anything in this field of collecting? It would seem only logical that collectors and industry insiders would put their faith in a cabal of "authenticators" they trusted, identified with, or liked. If the entire market is a crap shoot, then it would only make sense to trust one guy and vilify another.

Just a few thoughts from an outsider. Good luck with your legal battles, Steve.

That's what I believe to be true Martin. I've actually been in a warehouse and seen with my own eyes hundreds of thousands of forgeries in one place. All neatly in rows and rows of filing cabinets and stacked on shelves just waiting to be framed and sold. Difficult for me to have any other opinion.

I have been a picker for over 30 years. Never once have I purchased an item due to someone "authenticating" the item. I trust my experience, my vast library of books, auction records and more. When needed I discuss items with other more knowledgeable people in a specific area but I still ultimately make the decision. Knowledge is the key to this industry. You have to put the time in to fully understand how to authenticate.

The whole authenticating gig that now dominates the market is quite frankly a joke. It is nothing more than the old time COAs that everyone floated around for years before but it is now the standard bearer due to being first in to create an "official" service. Authenticating by the big 2 is now considered a must from many buyers because the industry allowed this to happen.  I had a guy ask where my sticker was on a Jefferson Madison passport recently. Seriously? I would prefer the authenticators stick to the Mantles and Williams where they purport to know a real one from a fake. Close your eyes, pick and sticker it. 

I wish this site well. I find the read worthy of my time, the members for the most part very knowledgeable and kind.

From Tommy Boy...

The reason why they have a guarantee on the box is because they know all they sold you is a guaranteed piece of sh*t. Hell, I can take a crap in a box and slap a guarantee on it for you, if that's what you want. But then all you have is a guaranteed piece of sh*t!

It's an organized crime ring, but nobody can touch them.  Should have a RICO case brought against most of them.  Wish I was rich, I'd look into it.

Well, we can all help.  Even if just 500 members donated $5.00 a month, that would be a tremendous help to Steve, AML, the members and our hobby.


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