There was a mountain of paper work. Charges were filed. A grand jury convened. Three years worth of docket updates dutifully filed online by the clerk of courts.
But after all of that, a Davie, FL autograph dealer who saw his inventory seized on the first day of the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland is getting most of it back–and all charges against him have been dropped.
The Cuyahoga County (OH) prosecutor’s office decided last month that they wouldn’t pursue criminal charges against Tony Podsada. Except for a board of signed items confiscated by investigators at the show, the cart full of Podsada’s material will be returned to him. Podsada was ordered to pay Steven Lane, a Louisiana collector, $300 in restitution for a mulit-signed piece of baseball memorabilia that was purchased at the show, but beyond that, he will face no penalties.
“After balancing all interests in the case, we felt this was an appropriate resolution,” a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told Fox 8 in Cleveland.
Podsada, 70, was indicted by an Ohio grand jury in 2019 on numerous charges including forgery, petty theft, criminal stimulation and 25 counts of trademark counterfeiting since some of the items in his inventory carried what prosecutors said were phony MLB trademarks.
The indictment stated Podsada’s “purpose was to defraud “evidenced in part, by his current and prior history of marketing fake sports memorabilia, his use of deceptive promotional efforts coupled, the number of duplicates within his confiscated inventory, and readily identifiable hallmarks of forgery and or simulation.”
Podsada, owner of Signed Certified Memories, had pleaded not guilty to the charges in May of 2019.
Video taken at the I-X Center showed Podsada stating the photographs and other material he was offering at the show on August 1, 2018 were being offered as “decorative items.” He used that term again in an interview with Fox 8’s Ed Gallek last week.
In 2003, Podsada pleaded guilty to federal charges in New Jersey for owing $300,000 in unpaid taxes from the sale of what’s described in federal court papers as “autographed sports memorabilia” during the 1990s. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison with three years of supervised release.