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Mother and Son Charged with eBay Collectibles Fraud

A 30-year-old man was charged with eBay fraud over the alleged sale of phony autographed baseball cards, and authorities believe he had help from his 61-year-old mother. The pair are accused of being the masterminds behind “the biggest case of domestic fraud in the history of the online auction site eBay.”

According to Ohio news outlet WFMJ.com, “Authorities believe the two were behind a scheme involving phony autographs on sports memorabilia that cheated 25,000 people out of more than $2-million.”

Rich Mueller has been covering the case for SportsCollectorsDaily.com. He wrote, “The group created phony certificates of authenticity and included them with the fake autographs which generally sold through eBay.”

He reported that Mahoning County, Ohio’s assistant prosecutor said the gang “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.”

Five men have pleaded guilty to charges filed against them for their parts in the scheme.

Major League Baseball reached out to the prosecutor’s office over the alleged scam.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.