Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA): What Methods Do They Use? Stephen Rocchi John Gorajczyk

Stephen Rocchi opened Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA) in September 2011, with John Gorajczyk listed as their forensic document examiner.

I remember reading in one of the baseball forums that numerous autograph collectors were excited that a new Third-Party Authentication (TPA) company was going to compete with PSA/DNA and JSA.

But that excitement was short-lived when collectors started posting photos of GFA-certified autographs.

They were the same well-known sports autograph forgery styles certified by Nicholas Burczyk, Chris Morales, Ted Taylor and Drew Max (AUU) and sold by AtAuction.com.

My observation of the autographs sold by AtAuction.com (formerly Always At Auction) is that I never saw one authentic autograph being listed and sold over there.  Not one.

According to an email I received from AtAuction in October 2010 all of the AtAuction inventory originated from leftover Scoreboard inventory.

Of course, that is a lie, since, except for a few beat-up Mantle signed autographs, there was no leftover Scoreboard inventory awarded to anyone.

Below is a statement written by Ken Goldin back in 2012.

My Focus Today

This thread is going to focus on my  purchases from AtAuction.com (John House).

Previously, I made numerous purchases from AtAuction.com with COAs from Chris Morales, Ted Taylor and Drew Max.

The purchases I will focus on today all have COAs from Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA).

I purchased these directly from AtAuction.com.

The team at GFA includes Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk.

 

My AtAuction.com Purchases and Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA)

Years ago I made  purchases of AtAuction pieces with GFA (Rocchi) COAs.  I recently opened them up.  The pieces consisted of forged Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Ted Williams photos.  They all arrived matted and framed.  

They are all come with a COA from Stephen Rocchi/John Gorajczyk and their Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA) group.

I will state that since the inception of GFA in Sept. 2011, I have personally not observed any authentic autographs of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax with COAs from Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators (GFA).

So I purchased a few so that I could examine them myself.  

I will also state, that my first observation of the autographed photos with COAs from GFA is that they looked too rigid and stiff to be penned by the human hand.

In my opinion, they looked to be mechanically drawn.

So even though I knew they were forgeries, I wanted a few of them in my possession so that I could scrutinize them.

Let's Get Started

First we have my Mickey Mantle/Ted Williams purchase.  This is one of the most popular images used by the source of the AtAuction inventory.

Let's Examine The Paper

The below images are from my ProScope HR (50X magnification) of the Mantle/Williams image. 

My own "Forensic Paper Analysis."

 

Observe the dots.  This is clearly inkjet paper.

Why didn't Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk discover that during their "Forensic" and "Scientific" examination of this piece?

Mickey Mantle passed away August 13, 1995.

When would have Mr. Mantle signed photos that were produced on inkjet paper in mass quantities?

Not only that, but it would have been cost prohibitive if it was available.

Also, all of Scoreboard's images were on photo lab (Photo File) paper.

Another one of my purchases is the below Mickey Mantle/Ted Williams piece with a COA from Stephen Rocchi and GFA.

This is a 5X7 piece.  When did Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams sign 5X7 photos back in the early 1990's in mass quantity?

A little common sense goes a long way.

Below is my "Forensic Paper Analysis" of the above image.

Again, please observe the dots.  This is clearly inkjet paper.

Why didn't Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk discover that during their "Forensic" and Scientific" examination of this piece, after all they claim to be utilizing "the latest technology."

Below is my Mickey Mantle/Whitey Ford item with a COA from Stephen Rocchi and GFA.

My own  "Forensic Paper Analysis" of the paper below under my ProScope HR.

Again, it is clearly inkjet paper.

Why didn't Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk discover that during their "Forensic" and "Scientific" examination of this piece?

Photo Lab Paper Under My ProScope HR

My Tom Tresh signed photo.

As you can see in the second photo there are no dots.

Below is a Joe DiMaggio I purchased from AtAuction with a COA from Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators.

It is on 4X6 paper.   

Joe DiMaggio passed away March 1999.

So when did Mr. DiMaggio sign these 4X6 photos in quantity on inkjet paper, Mr. Rocchi and Mr. Gorajczyk?

Here is that Joe DiMaggio I purchased from AtAuction from the time I unwrapped it from the box, to the moment I removed it from the frame and matting.

Huge frame and matting for a 4X6 photo?

In my opinion, they did that for two reasons; to deter anyone from removing the photo from the frame and examining the photo itself, or, from having a TPA examine them. 

All of the autograph items that I observed AtAuction selling were sold matted and framed.

On the below image observe the "ink spot" in the "io" in DiMaggio.  I attempted to remove part of the autograph with a dry erase marker, but was unable to because it is inkjet paper and inkjet paper is porous.

If that was photo lab paper, the dry erase marker would have lifted the "io" from the paper.

Here is that DiMaggio examined under my ProScope HR.

Observe the dots.  Again, the photo was produced on inkjet paper.

Again, when did Joe DiMaggio, who passed away in March 1999, sign the above 4X6 image (produced on inkjet paper) in quantity?

A Little History 

 

According to an email I received from AtAuction back in 2010, all of their autograph items were from leftover Scoreboard inventory that was awarded to their source of various Mantle, DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, etc. autographed photos.

Facts:

1. The source of AtAuction's inventory was never awarded any Scoreboard inventory.

2. Except for a few beat-up Mickey Mantle signed photos, there was no Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, etc., inventory remaining after Scoreboard went bankrupt.

3. When Scoreboard was in business, their printer NEVER used images produced on inkjet paper.

4.  Mickey Mantle only signed 4-6 different images for Scoreboard.

5.  Mickey Mantle never signed any 4X6 or 5X7 photos for Scoreboard.

The GFA COA

The GFA COA, while it is an impressive read to the impulsive buyer of autographs or the casual collector, it means zero to serious autograph collectors.

Opining autographs is not NCIS.

And what does "100 Years Of Law Enforcement , Professionally Trained" have to do with opining autographs?

From The GFA Website

New Technology And Sophistication

As of Sept. 2011, the sports memorabilia authentication companies have used collectors and dealers as their authenticators.  These authenticators, highly respected in the industry have for their collecting and selling expertise have had little or no formal training in forensics and document examination.

Stephen's background in law enforcement along with his years of experience in authentication, working with well-trained forensic and document examiners, combined with today's latest technology, can produce scientific proof that signatures are authentic or counterfeit.

As for the above from the GFA website:

 

What "New Technology And Sophistication" are Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk referring to and employing?

What Scientific proof that signatures are authentic or counterfeit are Stephen Rocchi and John Goraczyk referring to?

I would think that the first step required from a so-called Forensic Examination (whatever that means) would be to date the item that the autograph is signed on.

Mr. Rocchi and Mr. Goraczyk, according to your website, GFA performs document examination.

So how do you explain the inkjet paper?

Mickey Mantle passed away August 13th, 1995.  

Is it possible that Mickey Mantle autographed thousands of various-sized photos produced on inkjet paper?

Absolutely not.

Scoreboard did not use inkjet paper for their images.  And if was available, it would have been cost prohibitive back then.

The GFA Website

Below is document (link) from the GFA website.

http://gfaauthenticated.com/faq/

The last statement reads "Without having the proper training experience, education and exemplars, a third-party authentication is just an opinion, not a scientific fact of determination."

Below is one of GFA's Examination Sheets.

Where is the "Forensic" and "Scientific" examination?

On the below Examination Check Sheet where is the description showing Today's Latest Technology?

You may have to click your mouse on the below image to get a closer view.

Maybe Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk can explain what "Scientific Fact" had them determine that my purchases from AtAuction are authentic autographs?

Did anyone at GFA physically examine any of the pieces I purchased or any of the pieces sold by AtAuction over the past six years and the pieces that I've seen (by the thousands) listed and sold on Ebay?

Remember the HBO Sports segment on forgeries when Armen Keteyian asked (paraphrasing) Frangipani  "Didn't you ask yourself where all of this stuff was coming from?"

Now I want to ask Mr. Rocchi, Did you ever ask yourself where those thousands of Mantle, DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, Koufax, etc, autographed photos originated from?

Who At GFA Is/Was Ultimately Responsible For The End Result Authentication Process?

Maybe Stephen Rocchi and John Gorajczyk can explain to the autograph hobby when Mickey Mantle (who passed away August 13, 1995) started signing images of himself produced on inkjet paper.

I will add one more item to this blog.

Below is a Joe DiMaggio that I also purchased from AtAuction.

It comes with a COA from Chris Morales.

Below is an image of the back of the above photo.

I bought it knowing it was a forgery, but I still wanted to examine it myself.

The back of the photo reads "HP Advanced."

When I first read the markings on the back, I immediately emailed HP inquiring about "HP Advanced" paper.

I received an email (still in my possession) from HP dated October 12, 2011 and the first sentence reads "The HP Advanced Photo Paper was initially introduced in 2005."

How could Joe DiMaggio sign a photo on paper that wasn't introduced until six years after his passing?

Joe DiMaggio passed away March 8, 1999.

Views: 2034

Tags: Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators Autographs Inkjet Paper Mickey Mantle Joe DiMaggio Signed Photo

Comment by Eric K. Longo on January 3, 2018 at 10:54am

+1! Well done! 

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on January 3, 2018 at 11:12am

Great blog, Chris. Perhaps add links to other especially important GFA, AtAuction and related discussions to the end of the post. The discussion that Tony Podsada joined for a few days would be a good addition.

Thanks for posting this piece.

Comment by Christopher Williams on January 3, 2018 at 11:25am

Thank you, Steve and Eric.

This was well overdue.

Comment by jerry stern on January 3, 2018 at 12:02pm

Thank you Chris Williams. Your analysis is excellent. What a shame that we can't stop the forgeries.

Comment by Christopher Williams on January 3, 2018 at 12:03pm

Thank you, Jerry.

I wanted to post this a long time ago and I should have.

I guess better late than never.

Comment by Rick Meyer on January 3, 2018 at 7:04pm

Great job Chris. Nicely done.

Comment by Christopher Williams on January 3, 2018 at 7:07pm

Thank you, Rick.

Comment by jerry stern on January 3, 2018 at 7:39pm

Please stay on top of forgeries. We need a rational voice. Whoever realized that John Rogers would be serving serious time in federal prison. There's always hope. 

Comment by Christopher Williams on January 3, 2018 at 8:03pm

I've been doing this a long time, Jerry, and sometimes I wonder.

Comment by terrier8HOF on January 4, 2018 at 5:47am

Great job on this Chris.  In the autograph hobby, we are all attracted to rarities.   I believe one of the rarest items (if one even does exist), is a GFA rejection letter. You hit it right on the head......if these FDE's are constantly telling us they are the true experts, the FIRST thing they should examine is the medium and writing utensil, to make sure it is time-correct/possible.  Also, if anyone takes the time to do the math, how can GFA charge 100 for an "evaluation" and yet the sellers sell this junk for 1/3 of market value?  

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