"The Auto Scouts" Busted? $2 Million Forgery Ring Goes Down!

For those of you that remember, I used to expose "The Auto Scouts" forgery eBay accounts all the time. 

"The Auto Scouts" were a forgery ring who sold cheap forgeries of every "star" imaginable. Every single day a new eBay ID would pop up selling their crap. They would constantly change their homemade bogus "COA"s, and try to stay "one step ahead of us" on AML. Originally the majority of their eBay accounts were based in Ohio. Eventually they got slightly smarter and changed the locations

My man Tony came across this article today out of Ohio and sent it my way, telling me "The Auto Scouts" have been busted!

"$2 million Ebay sports autograph fraud uncovered in the Valley"

http://www.wfmj.com/story/29910070/2-million-ebay-sports-autograph-...

4 clowns who have scammed over 25,000 people on eBay, profiting over $2 MILLION. Just as I said all along, it was INSANE what these crooks were getting away with. It looks like we indeed did make a difference in this hobby by exposing these clowns.

Tags: auto, ebay, ohio, scam, scouts, the

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20,000 victims nationwide, $1.5-$2.5 million. Here is a recent update, Tony sent me the article:

http://wkbn.com/2015/08/28/police-break-up-fake-sports-memorabilia-...

Notice at the bottom from the county prosecutor:

“There are probably people out there who are very satisfied with what they have and think that they have something that is authentic and they don’t,” Desmond said.

Desmond said those who suspect fraud should contact eBay and file a claim"

LOL eBay isn't going to do SH*T.

According to ebay if you don't get what you paid for they will cover your loss. Everyone who bought this bogus sh-- should file a claim with the bay. If they don't get reimbursed then the bay gets some bad publicity.

Case Update: "5th Guilty Plea", guy got a $4,000 fine and 6 months house arrest... wow

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/5th-guilty-plea-in-huge-fake-a...

"An Ohio man has become the fifth person arrested in connection with what investigators say is the biggest case of domestic fraud in eBay history."

Biggest case of fraud in eBay history? Wait until they bust the GA/GFA/Florida crap!

37-year-old Daniel Marino of Austintown pleaded guilty Tuesday to engaging in corrupt activity.  Marino was fined $4,000 and placed on six months house arrest.

What is it with the name Marino and forgery?

By the way, I think it's appropriate to name the perpetrators... so if and when they are back to their old tricks again under a different business name, their previous crimes can be traced back to them.

Daniel Martini of Girard, OH, a former local business owner, pleaded guilty in September to money laundering while James Serenko of Youngstown, Jason Lenzi of Columbiana and Shawn Pelo of Warren, all pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. They are awaiting sentencing.

At least his Dan Marino autographs were authentic.  Kind of.

So he pays four grand and gets to sit at home and watch TV for six months. What happened to the millions that these scum wound up scamming? Are they making restitution? If not then what is to stop other scum from doing the same thing. The penalty is meaningless.

This Daniel Marino is a low level criminal stooge. The article mentioned he (and the four others) are cooperating with authorities who are focused on the so-called masterminds behind this massive fraud. I hope this means Daniel Marino's sentence was light because he sang like a bird and provided evidence needed to nail the top level. Otherwise I agree, the sentence is way too light... unless there are strings attached.

Agreed, Christopher. Ebay laughs all the way to the bank. It has become such a playground for forgers because of no oversight...except for you, Ryan, and others.


Ahhhh, the bold print below brings back memories... "THE AUTO SCOUTS AGAIN!" 

"The FBI and local police became involved in the case a few years ago after receiving tips.   During a run that lasted nearly five years, the scheme netted over $2 million.

The group created phony certificates of authenticity and included them with the fake autographs which generally sold through eBay.  Desmond says they would typically use several eBay and Paypal accounts and when those were shut down by eBay over complaints, they would open others or use existing accounts of other members to continue selling."

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/prosecutor-autograph-scam-ran-...

Desmond says attempts to obtain restitution have been made but it may be difficult to do so because of the overwhelming number of victims and the fact that most of the men arrested spent whatever proceeds they obtained and have little to offer.

Love that paragraph from the article you posted Ryan.  Let's start with eBay giving up their portion.... that would be at least a start! 

5 years of probation for one guy: http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/second-man-sentenced-in-bogus-...

$1,000 fine and 6 months of house arrest for another: http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/third-man-sentenced-bogus-auto...

What a joke.

They should be put in a cage with a dozen of the guys that got ripped off.

Then they might get some justice.

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