The FBI’s efforts to help clean up the autographed sports memorabilia industry makes for a tale that’s funny, sad and bizarre all at the same time.
It’s told in a book slated for release this fall and includes details of how the scammers used moth balls, shellack and an old fountain pen to convert balls purchased at used sports equipment stores to create Babe Ruth "autographed" balls.
Author Kevin Nelson has written a book detailing the major players in the FBI’s "Operation Bullpen".
Scheduled for release this fall, the book details what it calls "the biggest forgery scam in American history."
Excerpts from the book are available on-line, detailing that "on October 13, 1999, four hundred federal agents staged coordinated morning raids across five states on sixty homes and businesses — one of the largest one-day takedowns in FBI history, breaking up the biggest, most profitable forgery ring in the annals of American crime."
HBO’s ‘Real Sports’ delved into the fake autographs being sold on-line and elsewhere in a piece that aired last year.