The judge in the federal fraud case against Bill Mastro is still taking letters from those who may have dealt with Mastro Auctions as a sentencing date looms next year. Several have been filed with the latest coming from a 55-year-old attorney who claims Mastro cheated him out of $300,000 near the end of the company’s tenure.
Jeffrey W. Evers told Judge Ronald Guzman that he consigned his collection of 1,500 rare, vintage baseball cards including 1933 Goudey Babe Ruths, but the company didn’t give him a receipt with a detailed list. Evers claims Mastro Auctions had some of the cards graded by SGC and sold them only to offer them again in later auctions, with higher grades from PSA. His contention is that Mastro purchased the cards at a lowball figure, had them re-graded and then presented them in smaller or individual lots in order to maximize profits. He also claims he was never paid for some of the cards he consigned, including a rare 1933 Goudey Lajoie and several vintage Hall of Fame rookie cards, all sold, he says, in later auctions.
Evers didn’t offer much in the way of ironclad proof about the theft allegations in his letter to the judge, but he was apparently correct about one of the Ruth cards. Evers’ original consignment lot appeared in a December 2007 Mastro catalog. It consisted of 108 cards from the 1930s including two Ruth cards—one graded– which sold for $6544. Six months later, that same Ruth card reappeared in a Mastro catalog, bearing a PSA 6 grade, and sold by itself for $7,800.
“I am hereby urging you to impose the maximum possible federal prison sentences on William Mastro and all of his crew,” Evers wrote in his letter, which was added to the case file earlier this month.
A second man has been arrested in connection with a violent Chicago area home invasion robbery that involved the theft of more than $150,000 worth of sports cards.
According to the Arlington Daily Herald, Steven Chung, 26 of Des Plaines, has been charged and is in the Cook County jail on a $100,000 bail. Earlier this fall, authorities arrested 20-year-old Martrell Robinson of Chicago. He’s also in jail in lieu of $125,000 bail.
Cook County State’s Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Brogan says Chung and Robinson kicked in the front door, then broke into the resident’s bedroom where they held him at gunpoint, tied him up and beat him in an attempt to gain access to his safe. They stole numerous valuable cards and then tried selling them both on eBay and to sports card shops in Indiana and Ohio.
The homeowner identified Chung as someone who knew about his collection.
Prosecutors say Chung is no stranger to trouble. He was convicted of robbery, criminal damage to property and possession of a controlled substance, all between 2005 and 2008.
The maximum penalty for each man is 30 years in prison.
They’ll appear in court again on December 11.
Panini America has reached an exclusive multiyear trading card, autograph and memorabilia agreement with Washington Wizards guard John Wall. Wall’s trading cards and autographed cards will be featured in the company’s NBA and University of Kentucky trading card products and his autographed memorabilia will be sold through Panini Authentic.
As part of the agreement, Wall, the first overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, will be featured on the company’s packaging and will be involved in Panini marketing and social media initiatives. t. Wall previously worked with Panini on an exclusive basis during the first two years of his career.
“John Wall is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA and we’ve been fortunate to work with him in the past; having a player of John’s stature return to our team in such a meaningful way not only adds more excitement and potential to our product offerings, it also reinforces our long-term commitment to the NBA category,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO.
Wall joins fellow Panini exclusives Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving.
During the first four years of his NBA career, Wall has averaged more than 17 points and eight assists per game, earning his first NBA All-Star Game nod last season, where he won Dunker of the Night honors in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
For years, Bill Russell never signed autographs. He politely declined because he thought they were meaningless and impersonal. About 10 years ago (and we admit we’re guessing on that one), Russell finally agreed to an autograph deal with Rich Altman’s Hollywood Collectibles.
The cost was around $400 a pop because they were very limited in nature and there was intense built-up demand because of Russell’s policy.
Now? You can buy a Russell autograph for as little as $135 on Amazon.