Two former Mastro Auctions executives found guilty of fraud will be sentenced this fall, nine years after the beginning of an FBI investigation into wrongdoing at their business.
The two, along with company founder Bill Mastro, were indicted on fraud charges in 2012 for allegedly rigging auctions through a series of deceptive practices, including shill bidding, designed to inflate prices paid by bidders and to protect the interests of consignors and sellers at the expense of unwitting bidders.
Mastro has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in August. Allen and Theotikos pleaded guilty last year.
Allen likely faces a much stiffer sentence. Prosecutors had requested 12 years behind bars for him after he tipped off a business associate about an FBI raid.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Allen, who later became president of Legendary Auctions when Mastro’s business dissolved, agreed to cooperate in the federal investigation in return for a potentially lighter sentence. However, prosecutors say when Allen was outfitted with an undercover re cording device, he tipped off Arkansas businessman John Rogers that federal agents were about to raid his home.
Theotikos pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in connection with the FBI investigation, which focused on an eight-year-long policy of hiking prices on sports cards and memorabilia through shill bids and another illegal means.