Newly released police video taken at this summer’s National Sports Collectors Convention shows the dealer whose booth was shut down over autograph authenticity concerns claiming the signed items he was selling were “decorative items.” At the same time, Tony Podsada says those same autographs “are real. They’ve been looked at by our experts.”
Podsada, who runs Signed Certified Memories (SCM) Autographs out of Florida, has yet to be charged with a crime, but a report by Fox 8 in Cleveland says police there have been talking to law enforcement agencies in other states. It’s not known yet whether federal investigators have gotten involved. Legitimate autograph sellers and collectors continue to be dismayed by the ongoing issue of phony autographs being sold, mainly online, and it seems logical that considering the amount of time that has passed since the NSCC incident that law enforcement agencies could be casting a wider net.
Police raided Podsada’s booth not long after the NSCC doors opened in August, carting away stacks of memorabilia carrying signatures that collectors and other dealers believed were not real. Podsada was selling items well below typical market value and authentication company experts who saw some of the items immediately dismissed them as non-genuine.
NSCC security contacted Cleveland police.
In the video taken on the show floor and branded with a Cleveland Police logo, Podsada says “All of these autographs are authentic. But I don’t sell ‘em as authentic. I sell them as decorative items.”
In a recent phone conversation with Fox 8, Podsada stated, “What I tell people is these are actual signatures. But we were not there at the time of signing. So I will not sell them as original signatures.”
Signage at his booth, however, stated a belief that autographs were “in the opinion of the experts at SCM, all signatures are authentic.”
Sports Collectors Daily was told that Podsada attempted to have some of his items certified by at least one major authenticator before the show opened but was turned down because all were believed to be fake.