Six Charged in Game-Used Sports Memorabilia Probe

Six Charged in Game-Used Sports Memorabilia Probe

The sports collecting industry has had its share of fakes. News recently broke about a scheme perpetrated by at least six individuals who were passing off fake jerseys as game-used items and selling them for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the buyers included trading card companies who cut the "authentic" jerseys up to be included on memorabilia cards.

The six defendants who were charged at the U.S. District Court in Rockford, Illinois, include Eric Inselberg of New Jersey, Bradley Wells of Florida, Bernard Gernay of New Jersey, Bradley Horne of South Carolina, Jarrod Oldridge of Nevada and Mitchell Schumacher of Wisconsin. Inselberg and Wells were both charged with two counts of mail fraud and the other four men were charged by information with mail fraud.

The men duped collectors by purchasing jerseys from retail outlets and manipulating the materials so that they appeared "game-used." Each item was also accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), the fail-safe that is supposed to protect collectors against bogus items.

A four-year investigation by the FBI in Chicago and others helped unravel the deception that netted the sellers large sums of money.

One particular item that was included in the forgeries was a purported Michael Jordan warm-up jersey that was sold by Inselberg in 2007. The jersey had belonged to another University of North Carolina player around the same time as Jordan and the Hall of Famer's name was added to the warm-up. The item was exposed as fraudulent after an evaluation by Memorabilia Evaluation and Research Services (MEARS). Later, UNC confirmed that they still had the Jordan warm-up.

The men face fines of up to $250,000 and 20 years in prison for each mail fraud charge.

ebaysmalllogo Image
1713016431074040 1 Image
1996 Michael Jordan Upper Deck "Desire" signed Limited 2573 of 5000 + Card Set
$70.00
2510485087744040 1 Image
Michael Jordan Brushstrokes 28x24 Art Display Piece - Framed (UDA)Array, NBA NEW
$300.00
2614484575104040 1 Image
2004 2005 SPX MICHAEL JORDAN LEBRON JAMES DUAL AUTO #1 10 WINNING COMBOS JERSEY
$2,000.00
3808655234484040 1 Image
Michael Jordan (SAM'S) Birmingham Barons Case of 24
$528.00
2010706517854040 1 Image
MICHAEL JORDAN Upper Deck 1998 Audio Card + 1998 Gatorade NBA Autograph Card Lot
$39.99
3311550928604040 1 Image
2000 UD Michael Jordan MJS Final Floor Rare Purple piece
$39.99
1412510610514040 1 Image
Nice MICHAEL JORDAN 1984 - 1993 display Man cave SIGN Bulls # 24
$19.95
1712963477134040 1 Image
Basketball card rookie Wilt Chamberlain Magic Johnson Michael Jordan lot
$42.05
2813099535684040 1 Image
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS #23 MICHAEL JORDAN NCAA BASKETBALL JERSEY MENS XL
$37.00
« Previous12345...1112
 Image
 |  E-Mail | URL
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a life-long sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as college basketball and football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

User Comments

  1. How can the trading card companies fall for this? Will they make it right?

  2. Jon Belk (ID 28401) ยป That’s the big question. Brian Gray posted on Leaf’s Facebook page this morning that his company has never bought from the accused. Further, he challenged other manufacturers to step up and make things right.

  3. Another reason to look at relic and game used cards and wonder….

  4. So what trading card companys have bought from these people accused?

  5. That’s the mystery. Nobody’s spoken yet, but it should only be a matter of time.

    Leave a Comment: