A government official in San Clemente, California says Global Authentication was operating its business without a license. The company remains shut down, evicted from its offices.
While collectors who entrusted their sports cards and autographs to Global Authentication Incorporated await word on the company’s future, the eviction of one of the industry’s familiar authenticators from its offices came as a shock to city officials in San Clemente, CA.
"We didn’t even know they were there," San Clemente Business Relations Officer Debbie Ochoa told Sports Collectors Daily on Thursday. "They never filed for a business license."
GAI’s website and phones went down several days ago and the company did not issue a public statement, leading to speculation in the industry that it faced financial problems.
Global, which moved from Irvine to San Clemente earlier this year, was operating on a property located at 232 Avenida Fabricante. Ochoa said she visited the property for the first time earlier this week when complaints about the company’s sudden shutdown began to filter in. She found the property vacant with three large storage containers sitting on the side of the GAI offices. "It was evident they left in a hurry," Ochoa recalled. She found an eviction notice on the front door had been removed by a customer who wanted to photocopy it for records.
Ochoa returned to the property on Wednesday and discovered the storage pods had been moved. She took photographs of the eviction notice, which had returned to the door, and of the damage which she says had been done to the building.
GAI’s leadership has been largely silent, although one official maintains GAI is attempting to set up in a new location and that items which were in its possession remain safe.
Phone messages left with attorneys representing GAI and the building’s owner were not returned Thursday.
Unfortunately, Ochoa says her office is powerless to offer much assistance to collectors because GAI did not have a license. She has offered to assist those who have called her office wondering about their submitted items by facilitating an exchange of phone numbers between those who have been affected.
"We’re upset about this," Ochoa said. "It seems there may be many victims. We are not a big community and it doesn’t reflect well on us."