A Maryland man who sold fake autographs signed on fake jerseys will have plenty of time to think about it. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday that Joshua Aaron Shores, age 44,has been sentenced to five years in prison for the $2.5 million dollar fraud scheme.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, between 2008 and 2013, Shores obtained money and property by dealing in counterfeit and fraudulent sports memorabilia. Shores created, owned, and operated internet businesses under the names of Dealakhan, LLC, Stadium Authentics, Autograph Showcase, Sunset Beach, End Game Sports, Authenticgraph, and others with facilities in York County, Pennsylvania and in Maryland, and used the businesses to traffic in counterfeit and fraudulent sports memorabilia.
In order to carry out his scheme to defraud, prosecutors say Shores used various mailbox receiving services as business addresses, created and registered dozens of PayPal and Amazon.com accounts in his name and in the names of others to receive payments from customers, purchased counterfeit sports jerseys in bulk from China and affixed fraudulent sports autographs to them. The items came with phony certificates of authenticity.
Shores, the former co-founder of a brewing company, opened and maintained more than 80 different bank accounts in five different financial institutions, in his name and in the name of others without their knowledge.
In addition to the prison sentence, the court also ordered Shores to pay restitution in the amount of $500,000, a fine of $5,000, and immediate forfeiture of assets including U.S. currency in the approximate amount of $140,000. His prison term will be followed by a two-year term of supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski prosecuted the case.