Mailman Sentenced For Theft of Rare Vintage Baseball Card
Have you ever been on the receiving end of an eBay transaction gone bad? Most of the time the first instinct when faced with such a situation is to blame the other party involved in the transaction without considering the other, less apparent alternatives. A disgruntled postal worker in Maine by the name of Richard Trofatter Jr set out to exploit this fear for his own profit by stealing packages of baseball cards that were being sent through the US Mail as part of eBay transactions.
Law enforcement officials were unsure of how long and to what extent the rogue postal worker had been plucking baseball cards from the mail. In early May 2008 a package of particular interest to Trofatter came through his post office. The card, a Vintage 1915 Cracker Jack Card Depicting Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson, would prove to be his downfall. Unbeknownst to Trofatter, the seller whose card he had procured had the Mathewson card graded prior to mailing it and had recorded the serial number issued by the grading company in his records.
The eBay user who had legitimately purchased the card filed a missing package report with the USPS when he did not receive his order on the scheduled delivery date. Upon receiving the report, the Postal Service launched a full-scale investigation into the disappearance of the package. Equipped with the grading company's serial number for the stolen card, they quickly tracked it down. Ironically enough the stolen card had been resold on eBay for $1,211. Working in conjunction with eBay they obtained additional evidence, all of which led them to mail handler Trofatter, who was working at the 345 Heritage Ave. postal facility in Maine.
Initially Trofatter denied having any connection with the disappearance of the card. As investigators compiled more evidence in the case against him, the pressure caused him to fess up to the crime. Trofatter admitted to having a "borderline" addiction to collecting baseball cards. He told investigators that he ended up selling the card to a local jeweler, and was unsure where the card had gone from their.
Late last week Trofatter's trial concluded with the judge's sentencing in to six months in county jail, with all of it suspended pending two years of good behavior. Additionally, the judge to fined him $2000, with $1000 of that being suspended pending the same good behavior. The last punishment levied against Trofatter was that he pay the Postal Service $655 to cover the cost of the insurance payment they had to make to the original buyer of the card as a result of it being stolen.