Breaking News

By Peter J. Nash

March 4, 2015

It’s not a baseball memorabilia dispute but every baseball collector will be familiar with the names of the characters getting dragged into the RR Auction class action lawsuit. The litigation, initiated by collector Michael Johnson, has been brewing for over three years in Santa Barbara Superior Court and the lawsuit is on track to receive California class certification in the next few weeks. Take a look at your PSA/DNA LOA’s and you’ll see the facsimile signatures of the so-called experts who have been dodging subpoenas in the case for months now including PSA President Joe Orlando; Pawn Stars regular Steve Grad, and John Reznikoff. Even the former kingpin of the memorabilia and auction industry, Bill Mastro, is on the list to be deposed as he awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to mail fraud last year in a Chicago Federal Court.

Orlando and Grad are still currently evading service of subpoenas while the deposition of PSA authenticator Bob Eaton has been up on a video link at the RR Auction lawsuit website since January. Grad’s video-taped deposition is highly anticipated in the hobby considering he fabricated his professional bio and was exposed lying under oath about his education in another litigation. The deposition of Eaton, who is also the owner of RR Auctions and claims to do $25 million annually in revenue, is a must-see for anyone who buys, sells or collects autographs. One collector who watched the video told us, “It’s hard to believe that a PSA/DNA LOA with his name on it could be worth the paper it’s written on after watching that video.”

Eaton’s name and facsimile signature were recently reported as having been removed from PSA/DNA LOA’s and sources have confirmed that recently issued PSA certifications make no mention of Eaton. In his deposition Eaton said he was no longer affiliated with PSA and that his company no longer offers a “lifetime guarantee” or even letters of authenticity on items they sell. Eaton couldn’t recall who prints his monthly auction catalogs and also couldn’t remember filing lawsuits within the hobby and against former employees.

Bill Mastro was instrumental in bolstering the careers of authenticators (l to r) Steve Grad, John Reznikoff and Roger Epperson. Epperson was recently exposed for authenticating a large group of Michael Jackson forgeries some of which ended up in RR auction sales. Many of the forgeries were sourced to actor Corey Feldman but the actor denied ever owning them and claimed a photo accompanying the forgeries had his head photo-shopped onto the image (right).

Eaton also said he had no knowledge of his “entertainment expert” Roger Epperson authenticating or consigning Michael Jackson forgeries to his auction house despite evidence suggesting that he did. Eaton’s consignment director, Elizabeth Otto, however, admitted under oath that Epperson and PSA experts Grad, Reznikoff and Eaton consign their own authenticated materials to the New Hampshire auction house. Otto also stated that the autograph submission protocol at RR and PSA/DNA is “anonymous” and that experts do not know the identity of consignors, but sources indicate that internal RR documents contradict Otto’s testimony.

Otto also said that Bob Eaton was not on the “PSA payroll” or compensated by PSA for having his name and signature appear on PSA LOAs but she could not directly answer why Eaton would work for PSA without compensation. In her deposition Otto also claimed that William Boehm, another associate of Bill Mastro who plead guilty and is also awaiting sentencing in the Mastro case, had acted as the webmaster and outside IT consultant for the auction website. RR’s Vice President Bobby Livingston went a step further in his deposition and said that Boehm was a freelancer who worked for RR and “oversees the function of the auction software.”  Boehm was working for RR after he was indicted for lying to FBI agents about destroying auction bidding records and company computers for Bill Mastro.

As one collector told us after watching all of the RR video testimony, “This class action lawsuit really shows the behind the scenes collusion between the auction houses and the third-party authenticators.”  Another veteran collector said, “This very well could be the beginning of the end for PSA/DNA.” But if that’s the case, what is the RR Auction class action really all about and how is PSA/DNA involved in the litigation? And why are the lawyers who represent PSA and its parent company, the publicly held corporation Collectors Universe (CLCT), also representing Bob Eaton and RR Auctions?

The RR Class Action lawsuit website details the items purchased by Michael Johnson which were rejected by PSA/DNA including alleged autographs of The Eagles, Eric Clapton and the Moody Blues.

The original underlying claims made in the lawsuit relate to collector Michael Johnson’s RR auction purchases of over $100,000 of autographed Rock n’ Roll memorabilia including album covers, guitars and drum heads allegedly signed by the likes of Vanilla Fudge, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Paul McCartney, Cream, Eric Clapton, the Moody Blues and the Rolling Stones. According to the complaint and the lawsuit website, Johnson had all of the material sent to PSA/DNA for letters of authenticity to be issued, but all of the items were deemed non-genuine by PSA and expert Steve Grad.  After he was notified that the items he won from RR were failed, Johnson complained to Eaton and RR vice president Bobby Livingston and subsequent email exchanges between Livingston and his boss show that Eaton called Johnson a “nut case.” The exchanges also reveal that RR had discussions with PSA which resulted in another email exchange which referred to Johnson’s items and stated: “PSA-Now They Are Real.”

A portion of an email between RR owner Bob Eaton and VP Bobby Livingston reveals that PSA/DNA reversed its opinions on the items they failed. The RR email states, "PSA-Now they are real."

The email exchanges were turned over to Johnson’s attorneys in discovery and they reveal the inner workings of the auction house’s authentication process and the incestuous relationship between RR and PSA/DNA, the company that auction house owner Bob Eaton has served as an expert for and is listed on hundreds of thousands of letters of authenticity. RR didn’t immediately refund Johnson’s money and in doing so, RR and Eaton opened up the door for the filing of the class action lawsuit amid claims that many other California residents who bid on items in RR’s auction sales were also the victims of fraud and deception that stemmed from the authentication processes utilized and manipulated by RR and PSA/DNA. A closer examination of the email threads turned over by RR also reveals that the documents received in discovery may have been doctored or fraudulently altered to delete information which included direct email exchanges between RR and PSA/DNA including its President Joe Orlando and senior authenticator Steve Grad.  Adding to the controversy and conflicts of interest is the fact that RR and PSA/DNA are represented by the same attorneys, Keith Attlesey and Suzanne Storm of the California lawfirm Attlesey & Storm.

While Bob Eaton's name and signature have been removed from PSA/DNA LOAs, he still appears as an expert on Jimmy Spence's (inset) website for his company JSA.

While Eaton still appears as an expert on Jimmy Spence’s website for the authentication company JSA, his name and signature appear to have been removed from the PSA/DNA LOAs after he was noticed for his deposition back in October. The last LOA we could find with his facsimile signature was issued in November of 2014.  Eaton’s name had appeared on PSA/DNA LOA’s under the Collectors Universe umbrella for over a decade since he joined PSA in late 2003.  Prior to 2004, the PSA/DNA letters only included the names and signatures of Jimmy Spence and Steve Grad but by 2005 Spence had left PSA and the new LOA’s issued by the company included the names of Grad, Reznikoff, Zach Rullo, Roger Epperson and Eaton as the members of the “PSA Authentication Team.”

It is interesting to note that Eaton and the PSA team authenticated scores of Babe Ruth forgeries that were sold by Mastro Auctions and MastroNet during that same time period and it is no surprise that Bill Mastro, the godfather of the third-party authentication system, is listed on the class action website for an upcoming deposition.  It was Mastro who was instrumental in installing Jimmy Spence and ex-Mastro employee Steve Grad as the lead authenticators for PSA/DNA and it was Mastro and his MastroNet partner Rob Lifson who devised language and regulations in the MastroNet catalogs between 2000 and 2003 which insulated the auction house from liability for selling forgeries and successfully set up a system to market and distribute forgeries throughout the hobby with little recourse for collectors.

Bob Eaton was included as a PSA/DNA expert on all LOAs issued by Collectors Universe from 2005 until 2014. After Eaton was noticed for his deposition in the class action lawsuit, his name stopped appearing on PSA/DNA LOA's as evidenced on a January 2015 LOA (right). Eaton's facsimile signature appears on a 2005 PSA/DNA LOA certifying a Babe Ruth forgery as a genuine signature (right) .

There has been little in-depth reporting about the Johnson case and the “hobby press” hasn’t really acknowledged the legal wranglings.  Most of the chatter about the case has surfaced on autograph forums and long-time PSA supporter, Steve Cyrkin, made the most notable public comments about the case recently before he was added to the class action website’s list of individuals scheduled to be deposed. Cyrkin addressed the lawsuit and said:

“If you’re perplexed why this lawsuit was filed, since R&R offered to refund Johnson’s money and all grading and shipping fees, this may make it easier to understand:  There’s a California law covering signed sports memorabilia, Calif. Civil Code 1739.7, that specifies 10-times losses plus legal fees and costs for selling fake signed memorabilia. I hear it has been successfully used in cases involving non-sports signed memorabilia as well. I think that Johnson is trying to use this law to try shakedown R&R. R&R offered Johnson his money back and more according to the deposition testimony, so I can’t imagine any judge or jury awarding a civil penalty. I think that at best all Johnson will get is what’s specified under R&R’s terms and conditions in force when he bought the items.”

Cyrkin even published the California statute he was referring to which states:

“(g) Any consumer injured by the failure of a dealer to provide a certificate of authenticity containing the information required by this section, or by a dealer’s furnishing of a certificate of authenticity that is false, shall be entitled to recover, in addition to actual damages, a civil penalty in an amount equal to 10 times actual damages, plus court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, interest, and expert witness fees, if applicable, incurred by the consumer in the action. The court, in its discretion, may award additional damages based on the egregiousness of the dealer’s conduct. The remedy specified in this section is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other remedy that may be provided by law.”

Cyrkin made his public statements just before he lost three motions in California Superior Court as a defendant in a defamation suit filed against him by autograph dealer Todd Mueller of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Mueller’s suit alleges malicious defamation and business interference and sources familiar with that litigation allege that documents obtained in discovery by Mueller’s attorneys (the same firm representing Johnson) evidence collusion between PSA/DNA and auction houses and also suggest that Cyrkin, Orlando, Grad, Epperson, Reznikoff and Jimmy Spence of JSA worked in concert to destroy Mueller’s reputation and his business to further their position as a monopoly in the authentication industry.

Cyrkin, who is a co-founder of PSA and currently employed by the company in its coin division declined comment about his public statements regarding Johnson’s alleged “shakedown” of RR Auctions. Cyrkin is the moderator of the website Autograph Magazine Live and is known throughout the hobby as a notorious seller of forged items through his now defunct company Starbrite Autographs. Cyrkin has also claimed in court papers to have several mental disorders and he also has as a history of legal troubles including a $500,000 judgment entered against him by the Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. for committing insurance fraud. Johnson and his attorney, Dugan Kelly, declined to comment or respond to Cyrkin’s allegations of a “shakedown” but did say there could be additional filings in the class action suit against RR later this week.

The depositions of Bob Eaton, Bobby Livingston, Bill White and Elizabeth Otto are currently on the RR lawsuit website (top row). On deck are (l to r) Steve Grad, Joe Orlando, John Reznikoff, Steve Cyrkin and Bill Mastro.

Hauls of Shame interviewed several parties familiar with the details of the RR class action and the Mueller litigation who disagree with Cyrkin’s commentary and, based upon those interviews, we’ve determined that there are multiple issues that could interest the FBI in relation to the RR Auctions and PSA/DNA:

1. Allegations of collusion between RR Auctions and PSA/DNA.

2. RR’s alleged sale of bogus autographs accompanied by RR and/or PSA/DNA LOA’s.

3. Allegations that RR Auctions’ office manager Karen “Kay” Burris may have been a murder victim contrary to reports that she committed suicide just weeks after RR filed police reports and a lawsuit against her alleging the embezzlement of $111,000. Sources say that Burris had first-hand knowledge of fraud and shill-bidding at RR and that Eaton and RR Auctions settled out of court with Burris’ family after her death.

4. Allegations of collusion and racketeering between PSA/DNA employees and major auction houses.

5. Questions about the professional qualifications of PSA/DNA authenticators and how its “so-called experts” could render opinions on the 400,000+ autographed items per year. In its 2014 Annual Report Collectors Universe states that PSA/DNA employs “6 autograph experts with an average of 25 years of experience in the autograph memorabilia market, as well as outside consultants that (they) use on a contract basis.”

Hauls of Shame has confirmed that at least two FBI agents have expressed interest in reviewing the RR class action lawsuit depositions as well as the upcoming depositions of PSA/DNA employees. Bob Eaton was asked in his deposition if he was currently being investigated by the FBI and he responded that he was unaware of any such investigation.  A Federal agent has also made it known to several hobbyists that the New York office of the FBI would like to hear from any collectors who feel they have been victimized by any third-party authentication company and said they can report their experiences by calling 718-286-7100. We requested interviews with Joe Orlando and Bob Eaton but neither executive responded to comment on the on-going litigation.

As far as the civil litigation is concerned, one major dealer with over thirty years in the autograph industry is skeptical that the RR class action could ever impact PSA/DNA or Collectors Universe in a significant way.  He told us, “I do not see depositions or a court case on the horizon, the parties (at PSA) that have refused service will continue to do so until they throw so much money at this that they will make it go away. Too much at stake to forfeit a monopoly, unfortunately that is the reality.”


  1. If this all wasn’t so sad but the widespread allegations of
    fraud by these so-called third party expert authenticators,
    it might actually be funny-but sad it remains. How many
    authentic autographed items have been deemed “not
    likely authentic” bu PSA/DNA/JSA etc., ad nauseum, only
    to be carefully checked by other, REAL authorities and have
    had their authenticity confirmed-and how many bogus signed
    items have a PSA/DNA and/or JSA or R&R COA/LOA rather
    worthless piece of paper stating the items are, indeed, the
    real thing, only to be questioned if not outright proven NOT to
    be the “real thing”.
    What is the U.A.C.A. ’s position on these pending and
    “live” lawsuits? The entire Autograph Community-both
    honest collectors and dealers-should be outraged at how
    a wonderful hobby has turned so sour. I have 23 1/2 years as
    a professional, full-time autograph dealer and 31 years
    experience as an avid collector yet I NEVER claim any
    signed item is authentic or bogue unless and until I have done my very best to be sure-one way or the other, nor do
    I claim to be an expert nor charge a penny to offer an
    educated opinion regarding the authenticity of any signed
    item when asked for my professional opinion. My usual
    reply if I have doubts-or if the item is an obvious forgery,
    secretarial, stamped, autopenned-is “I would not feel
    comfortable selling NOR owning the item, and let the
    customer who has gotten my opinion, totally GRATIS, do
    some further research and make up his/her mind.
    Just my opinion-a rather disgusted one waiting for
    further bad news about all self-promoting “authenticators.

    Comment by arnie meyrowitz — March 4, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  2. So, RR goes and hires the Mastro IT guy that was indicted and plead guilty in the biggest shill bidding scheme in hobby history? That pretty much says it all. I’m sure they are 100% honest and legitimate when it comes to autograph authentications.

    Comment by Ted N — March 4, 2015 @ 10:50 am

  3. This is a long time coming. I hope the guy who just bought that Joe Jackson is reading this.

    Comment by shelly — March 4, 2015 @ 11:20 am

  4. [...] Feds Show Interest In Allegations Of PSA Collusion & Mastro-esque Shill Bidding At RR Posted on March 4, 2015Author Todd DavisTags AFC Championship Game, Boston, Brooke Baldwin, [...]

    Pingback by Could The RR Class Action Signal The Downfall Of PSA/DNA? Feds Show Interest In Allegations Of PSA Collusion & Mastro-esque Shill Bidding At RR | Droppin' Tha Knowledge — March 4, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

  5. who cares talk talk talk and nothing happens- always same people rea, psa, mastro, halper (dead), and nothing happens! all this people should be investigated by fbi and there business should be banned if they are all involved in screwing civilians money- they are all thiefs- think about it! how can you make millions of dollars for so many years in this stuff-it all the items are going in circles- you have to be cheating people!

    Comment by vic franklin — March 4, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

  6. I have had several books , signed at in person book signings removed under eBay’s vetting practice in which so-called experts were given some authority by eBay. I also had some space related autographs declared not authentic by an expert and per terms of eBay’s SNAD program, the buyer was given a prompt forced refund, and these buyers were never required to return the items. I some cases, these items found their way to RR AUCTION and were sold with COAs from the very same expert that originally declared these items to be not authentic. The third party authentication system might sound good in theory, but human nature seems to take over and such is flawed.

    Comment by Karl — March 5, 2015 @ 10:54 am

  7. From a reader:

    18:55 Orlando eventually admits that only a small percent (he then says no more than 25% of autographs they authenticate each month require them to actually look at exemplars), that most they don’t even look at exemplars, just quickly pass or fail it. So, they authenticate 75 percent without having to pull up exemplars. He says if you need 10 minutes to look at exemplars for each autograph, then you aren’t an expert. that’s b.s.

    Comment by admin — March 5, 2015 @ 11:00 am

  8. The key is the FBI. With terrorism being one of their priorities I don’t know how much interest or resources the bureau is willing to deploy to deal with this issue? Trust me, if the FBI made this issue a priority, the prisons would be filled with these guys. The FBI is the only agency that could put Halls of Shame out of business – in a good way. Great report above – as usual.

    Comment by Dennis Pluchinsky — March 5, 2015 @ 11:09 am

  9. So Jerry Gladstone is screwed over with fake photos, and Steve “ANTI-SEMITE” Cyrkin writes story after story after story about it, and now his boy, Roger Epperson has the same thing happen to him with Michael Jackson, and he won’t talk about it??!! (The Corey Fieldman photo)

    Cyrkin, and Epperson go off on Julians auctions because they didn’t use Epperson, yet Epperson helps flood the marketplace with over 300 Jackson fakes and Cyrkin doesn’t talk about it? He talks about calling the FBI on every place that he thinks is bad, yet when his friends are actually under investigation he does nothing about it? What a crook!
    He’s losing his own court battles, and RR and Roger are sinking like the Titanic and they are all sitting around a fireplace wondering where they all went wrong!

    These court battles could not be happening to a better bunch of crooks and deserving people. They have gotten away with this and murder now for years, and it’s finally caught up to them. They have burned every road and every bridge they have crossed and now they turned down a dead end and have nowhere to go. Talk about screwing themselves!

    I do believe that it’s only a matter of months before the FBI shuts all 3rd party company’s down… these guys are all done….”it’s over Johnny….it’s over”!

    Comment by John Smith — March 5, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

  10. Who do we trust, in the autograph industry if greed is in every authenticator in this hobby. I am not trusting Peter Nash, who is the same as all the rest Or any body at forum website Autograph Planet, or PSA, or JSA. Even Autograph magazine forum now bad mouths PSA and JSA. If this is what the hobby has turned into then make everyone’s sports memorabilia collection be worhtless. I do not belive that the FBI are checking in on this because they have more important things to do then check on autograph authenticators, where is your proof. Just like Autograph Alert and all their Bull shit and slander.

    Comment by Who do we trust — March 5, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

  11. Johnson most likely was offered a buy out to eliminate this nightmare for RR but Johnson retained a legal army to basically crush RR for an enormous amount. 10 times, wow, sounds like the AG in California has had enough of the garbage. Epperson’s video deposition will be frightening. Anybody think RR will drop the bill on Epperson, the “expert” on entertainment.

    Comment by Weezer — March 6, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

  12. In the eyes of those who could make a difference (they did care at one point, made a few busts actually) this hobby (business) is like that warning at the beginning of every movie. Nobody actually gets fined or thrown in jail for duplicating a movie or whatever, but don’t do it.

    Coach’s Corner has mastered the art in this business. Hundreds of millions in sales, creating immense wealth for a small handful of consignors and a nice living for themselves and they aren’t creating life changing fraud like those thieves on American Greed who get caught. A few hundreds dollars here, a few hundred dollars there, thank you very much.

    Let’s face it, the hobby is “f–ked”. The only people who care are educated commenters (like you guys) and we have no voice really. We just bitch and complain on message boards and we will be doing the same bitching and complaining about the same s–t five years from now.

    Comment by Donald — March 8, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

  13. Just has yet another signed photo which was double-checked for authenticity & passed with flying colors, deleted from e-bay
    store & new listing/revisions barred for seven days “punishment”. Called & heard same BS-PSA/DNA cannot/
    won’t “pass” item so it was pulled. Waste of time complaining
    & asking that SOMEONE in some “authority” at e-bay check
    our all pending lawsuits/criminal complaints being/having been
    filed against PSA/DNA/JSA/R&R,Epperson, Grad, et al-
    same bunch of idiots, to see what the autograph “community”
    thinks of their sold authenticator which started out grading
    spots cards but now is THE Autograph Authority-gag me
    with a dozen spoons-to see whom they trust but folks with
    a tiny bit of actual authenticating skills but millions of dollars
    behind them and who are superb at self-promotion but who
    typically deem an item as non-authentic by saying “likely not
    authentic” but when asked for an example from their
    “examplars” refuse to respond not comply. Try listing any
    signed Sports autograph on e-bay without a PSA COA and
    see if you can take a leak and return to your PC before this
    item has been yanked and you are “banned” yet again.
    Our monthly catalog-up to #300-and e-bay store
    listings clearly states that we will NOT accept any return if
    a signed item we have sold is accompanied by COA or
    LOA from ANY of these self-appointed experts-and while we
    will issue a signed, detailed COA on request for any signed
    item we sell despite most COA’s being issued are done so
    by folks with six months experience selling or even collecting
    autographs, our invoice, 23 1/2 years as a reputable
    dealer and 30 years as avid collectors with tens of thousands
    of saved, proven authentic Entertainment autographed items,
    and our 14 day monty back guarantee for ANY reason and
    LIFETIME authenticity guarantee in writing is sufficient
    evidence/proof that we have done our job to the very best of
    our ability and refuse to bow to the hordes of no-nothings
    in our “industry” who feel that their opinions reign supreme.
    Is it any wonder that this crazy business is in the
    sad condition overall that it has become yet the ignorant
    masses continue to place their faith in “guessing game”
    authenticators over the hard and diligent work being done by
    most if not all true professional autograph collectors and

    Comment by arnie meyrowitz — March 9, 2015 @ 10:48 am

  14. “Now they are real”. Imagine RR trying to explain that to a judge. Same attorney as PSA? I see RR and the Mastro nation leaving the corner with coach to oblivion in ‘15. This mess is out of control like autograph prices and the drama coming outside the Mayweather fight which will be a blast to watch (no pun intended).

    Comment by Weezer — March 10, 2015 @ 2:43 am

  15. PRESS RELEASE MARCH 13, 2015

    Santa Barbara, CA | March 13, 2015

    Michael Johnson filed a class action lawsuit against R&R Auction Company, LLC, an auction house that sells autographed memorabilia, alleging violations of California’s consumer protection laws. Mr. Johnson alleges in his lawsuit that R&R Auction conducted bait-and-switch marketing by claiming, “Each autographed item [sold] is accompanied by a full 100% lifetime guarantee of authenticity.” R&R Auction backed this guarantee with an explicit offer to refund the full purchase price of any autographed item that was later determined to be inauthentic. R&R Auction marketed this guarantee in its marketing materials, written publications, website, and self-generated certificates of authenticity that accompanied every signed item that it sold to California consumers, including Mr. Johnson. However, Mr. Johnson discovered that R&R Auction never really confirmed the authenticity of signed memorabilia it sold and further refused to honor its advertised refund policy.

    Mr. Johnson’s lawsuit alleges that he purchased over $130,000 in signed memorabilia from R&R Auction between 2008 and 2012. However, he later discovered that all of the signed items he purchased were forgeries, after having them reevaluated by an independent autograph authentication company. When he attempted to obtain a refund from R&R Auction, the company simply refused to honor it’s advertised “lifetime guarantee of authenticity.” Mr. Johnson’s lawsuit alleges violations of California’s consumer protection laws, including the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, on behalf of himself and all other customers residing in California who fell victim to R&R Auction’s fraudulent practices.

    On March 13, 2015, the Santa Barbara Superior Court denied certification of Mr. Johnson’s proposed class of California consumers who purchased forged memorabilia from R&R Auction. The Court did not rule on the merits of Mr. Johnson’s claims, but instead, determined that the case could not procedurally be tried as a class action because of individualized issues involving autographed items purchased by the members of the proposed class. Essentially, the Court ruled that anyone that was sold forged items during 2008-2012 would have the ability to pursue their own individual claims against R&R. In addition to the ability for others to now pursue their own cases against R&R Auction for the purchase of inauthentic items, the Burris evidence demonstrates that another class action or suit in State or Federal Courts may be filed against R&R for shill bidding.

    In spite of the Court’s ruling on class certification, Mr. Johnson and his attorneys, Christman, Kelley & Clarke, PC, are moving forward with Mr. Johnson’s lawsuit against R&R Auction. In addition to Mr. Johnson’s claims that R&R Auction sold him fake memorabilia, Mr. Johnson recently discovered from a former R&R employee that R&R Auction engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud its customers by engaging in “shill bidding” through conspiring with others to bid on memorabilia it auctions on its website with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability. He discovered this after receiving a copy of a signed and notarized affidavit from Karen Burris, a former RR Auction employee who passed away shortly after executing the affidavit. Ms. Burris’ sworn affidavit implicates R&R Auction in a variety of illegal activities, including shill bidding and the knowing sale of forged memorabilia to its customers.

    Mr. Johnson’s attorneys intend to amend his complaint to assert these additional violations of consumer protection laws. This includes potential violations of California Civil Code section 1739.7, which prohibits the sale of fake autographed memorabilia, and provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and a civil penalty in an amount equal to 10 times actual damages. With his estimated actual damages of $130,000, Mr. Johnson intends to request a civil penalty of at least $1.3 million. Matthew Clarke of Christman Kelley & Clarke, PC believes that this is another step in the right direction of ultimately making Mr. Johnson whole and holding R&R Auction accountable for its fraudulent and deceptive business practices. END ###

    Comment by as seen on TV — March 13, 2015 @ 11:19 pm

  16. Oh. My.

    I used to hate my ex-wife for my divorce and for forcing me to sell my collection and exit the hobby.

    Now it looks like I got out at the right time because these guys are all nothing but crooks.

    How could anyone buy anything from any auction after all of this?

    Sad. Especially for those of us who just love baseball and loved collecting for the joy of it.

    Comment by Hal Lewis — May 19, 2015 @ 11:04 am

  17. Not to mention…

    that it is painfully obvious to me now that I overpaid hundreds of thousands of dollars in buying my cards from these auctions where I trusted them to really NOT be able to see my max bid. Yet every time the auction ended… my max bid had been pushed to the brink. Put them all UNDER the jail!

    Comment by Hal Lewis — May 19, 2015 @ 11:08 am

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