Sports Memorabilia Dealer Arrested During National Sports Collectors Convention

Sports Memorabilia Dealer Arrested During National Sports Collectors Convention

It didn't take long for the action to start during this year's National Sports Collectors Convention. Thursday morning Steven Jensen, owner of Vintage Sports Authentics, was arrested by U.S. postal inspectors at his NSCC booth on charges of mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the sale of fraudulent sports memorabilia online. Among the fake items he stands accused of having sold are game worn jerseys supposedly worn by Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire.

Jensen, whose sports memorabilia company is based in Minnesota, stands accused of knowingly selling jerseys online between July 2007 and July 2011 that he claimed had been worn by various players during games, but in fact, had not been game used at all.

When individual customers became suspicious of the memorabilia purchased from Vintage Sports Authentics, the company allegedly allowed the items to be returned and then re-auctioned them through their website to buyers authorities said. The U.S. Postal Service has yet to release any details regarding the extent of the operation.

While its impossible to be 100% sure as to the authenticity of an autographed item unless you have have it hand signed in person, the best way to greatly reduce your chances of buying fake memorabilia is to buy items authenticated by a highly credible authenticator like PSA/DNA or Steiner Sports.

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Mike Smeth is the CEO and Founder of The Cardboard Connection. After collecting baseball cards as a child, he took a 12-year hiatus from the hobby. One muggy summer day in 2006 he unexpectedly came across his childhood card collection while packing up for a move. He began sorting through them so he could sell them on Craigslist. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th box, he rediscovered his passion for collecting and hasn't looked back since. You can find Mike on Google+ and Twitter @mikesmethcc.

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