They were once the largest auction company in the sports memorabilia business, delivering catalogs with millions of dollars worth of high-end items multiple times per year. It all came crashing down several years ago amid charges of shill bidding and fraud. The fall of the company and its founder, Bill Mastro, is the subject of a new episode of American Greed, a long-running CNBC series.
The producers of the show spoke with collectors who were victimized by the shill bidding scheme in which company representatives artificially inflated bids to make more money. They also talked with a federal investigator and others about the T206 Honus Wagner card Mastro admitted to trimming many years ago.
Mastro served only a few months of the 20-month sentence he was given in 2015 before being released on May 11 of this year. Only one of the three Mastro officials sentenced to federal prison in connection with the case remains in custody. Former company president Doug Allen isn’t scheduled to be released until 2019 after receiving the longest sentence of of the three.
The show also includes segments on authentication and tips for buying authentic memorabilia.
A two-part preview of the show is below. It airs Monday night at 10 PM Eastern time.