Federal prosecutors have charged an Omaha, Nebraska man with selling four sports cards to a buyer on eBay for $117,500, knowing all along they were reprints rather than the real deal.
Thomas Martin Beatty, Jr. is facing fraud and money laundering charges after a grand jury handed down a five count indictment last week. Beatty is accused of using eBay to buy reprints of 1952 and 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle cards and rookie cards of Bill Russell and Joe Namath, then selling them as graded originals to an unsuspecting buyer in Massachusetts through another eBay transaction.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Mayer says after receiving the money from a Belmont, MA buyer via wire transfer last August, Beatty sent the four reprints through the U.S. Postal Service. Charging documents say a few days after shipping the package, Beatty then withdrew over $64,000 from his bank account.
Beatty is also accused of being in possession of over $2,000 in counterfeit bills last October. The fake bills were in denominations of $20, $50 and $100.
He’s charged with mail and wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and possession of counterfeit obligations.
There was no mention in the unsealed court documents of the process by which Beatty was able to fool the buyer by selling the encapsulated cards as graded originals.