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#309056 - 01/09/04 06:26 PM PSA and IBS
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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It would seem that some of the usual suspects on the CU forum are having another bout with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is nothing more hilarious than watching these boys spin their webs of denial.

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=250873

Best,
Greg

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#309057 - 01/09/04 09:15 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
aconte
Bid more or post more... tough one...


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1896
Loc: On The Beach....where else!

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The biggest idiot on that thread was me. I actually responded.

I got Psa holders that are so cloudy on the edges I'd almost swear
the holders were broken into.

I thought sending a complaint to the SEC on another thread about
a post on a message board was too funny.


aconte or srs1a but definitely not koby (thank goodness)
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#309058 - 01/11/04 08:42 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: aconte]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

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BOTN >

You're a drawing card! No replies, but a goodly number of views. You're just increasing the bounty on you with this continued heresy ...LOL LOL
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309059 - 01/12/04 07:21 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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What exactly are we denying, Greg? That WIWAG didn't happen? That it wasn't poorly handled by PSA? Please explain.


Quote:

It would seem that some of the usual suspects on the CU forum are having another bout with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is nothing more hilarious than watching these boys spin their webs of denial.

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=250873

Best,
Greg


_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309060 - 01/12/04 07:36 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

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While I wouldn't want to put words in botn's mouth, I think he is implying that the PSA faithful are severely underestimating the scope of the WIWAG scandal.

How many cards do you think were involved?


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#309061 - 01/12/04 08:30 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: deadlyembrace]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

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All I want to know is what exactly did WIWAG do -- if they were cracking and re-sealing the same holder with another card...well, , that's one thing...and the complexity in cracking and resealing would probably limit the numbers of cards that are floating around.

If, on the other hand, they were cracking and then re-sealing new holders (meaning that they had a stack of virgin holders lying around and an ultrasonic welder, as some people assert) then that's another story all together. This would mean that you really can't spot a "tampered" holder -- because if isn't really tampered with. It has a bogus card inside, but the holder would be fine.

The second scenario is ugly indeed.





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#309062 - 01/12/04 08:56 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: deadlyembrace]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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Well, lets take a look at things logically:

Here is WIWAG's Feedback, and here is Grade & Trade's For the sake of argument, let's say EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION SHOWING FEEDBACK FOR EVERY CARD EVER SOLD BY THE 2, (even the SGC and BGS cards that might have been in WIWAG's inventory) WAS A RESEALED HOLDER, EVEN THE NEGATIVE ONES. The total is 19,387, or about 3/10's of a percent of all of the cards PSA has graded (basing this on an upgrade to 20,000 cards out of 6,000,000 graded PSA cards. PS, feel free to check my math, as I'm sort of doing this on the fly between phone calls). Now you, me, and the Joe Stalin all know that not all of those cards were tainted. To appease you, lets say even half were, so that would be 10,000. I don't think it's that much (I'd say less than 1,000), simply because even at 10,000 someone would have noticed sooner rather than later that their case had been tampered with. But to go throwing around the #'s I've been seeing is just plain wishful thinking.

Go ahead and bash them for things they've done or not done, but let's try to keep things in perspective here.

Quote:

While I wouldn't want to put words in botn's mouth, I think he is implying that the PSA faithful are severely underestimating the scope of the WIWAG scandal.

How many cards do you think were involved?




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#309063 - 01/12/04 11:35 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Quote:

All I want to know is what exactly did WIWAG do


As I have said over and over that is a question that you folks need to press CU, specifically Joe Orlando about. If you are all satisfied with the way that CU handled this then there is no point in discussing this any further.

At the very minimum isn't odd that CU never gave exact numbers of how many cards were involved, or what to look for in the "resealed" holders. Why has CU afforded more protection to WIWAG than to its own customers who have not broken the law? Dude was the one that posted the outcome of the BS sentencing. Why has CU not followed up with this scandal but instead has decided to sweep it under the carpet?

If I owned PSA holders I would certainly want these questions and more answered. I think that you all have a right to that information since you are the ones that have made that company what it is today.


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#309064 - 01/12/04 11:37 AM clarification on grade & trade [Re: Sean_C]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

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I'm familiar with wigwag and what they were doing, but not with grade and trade. Were they re-sealing cards like wigwag or switching cards on people when they sent them on their behalf to PSA to sell on the internet?

I couldn't imagine sending my cards to a dealer to send to PSA on my behalf. I think someone for SCD does this.

I also can't imagine who would want to send SCD their unopened packs to have their cards graded as "un touched" with their "white glove" process. Unless I'm getting a video tape of them opening my pack and watching them grade it...hold on, it still doesn't make sense. Why pass the enjoyment onto someone else to open a vintage pack of cards. "untouched" or "1st graded" have zero relevance. Marketing B.S.

Interested to understand what G&T was doing with PSA that got them in trouble.

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309065 - 01/12/04 12:28 PM Re: clarification on grade & trade [Re: estang]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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While others might be able to provide better details, some of the cards Grade & Trade sold came from WIWAG. Many moons ago, in a long deleted post, I had found that PSA appeared to have graded about 30 or so Ken Griffey Jr. "Broder" cards as 1989 Star cards. While trying to track everything down, half appeard in G&T auctions, some appeared in WIWAG auctions, the rest from random sellers. Shortly after I had posted my findings on the PSA boards (I posted there to get a better consensus that they were unlicensed Broder cards, even though I was pretty sure they were), my post was deleted, and all of the auctions from all of the sellers went bye-bye. It wasn't until after the FBI busted WIWAG that I was aware that one was selling cards for the other. I'm just a collector though, so some of the others here might be able to shed a bit more light on their relationship.

(BTW, I bought a PSA 9 Topps Ripken rookie from G&T, and both the card and the holder look fine to me).
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#309066 - 01/12/04 01:05 PM Re: clarification on grade & trade [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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WIWAG was the number 1 consignor to Grade & Trade for an extremely long period of time. Grade and Trade is not in any trouble other than the fact that WIWAG has destroyed their reputation by their affiliation with them. Grade & Trade (Real Legends) is supposedly in litigation with WIWAG.
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#309067 - 01/12/04 04:38 PM Re: clarification on grade & trade [Re: botn]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

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i bet i bought 100 cards off them through their auctions in the scd before ebay and psa was big!
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#309068 - 01/13/04 05:57 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

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Sean --

I tend to agree that the "numbers game" ... in the absence of definitive info ... is little more than an interesting exercise. But let's assume that your estimate is correct -- 1000 tainted PSA cards. 1000 bad cards, while not good for consumer morale, is not the problem that 10,000 bad cards ... or 20,000 or 50,000 bad cards ... would be.

In fact, if the scope of this scandal could realistically be limited to 1000 bad cards, it seems that CU would breathe a huge sigh of relief and publicize, in a face-saving way, the idea that the bad guys had been caught before before their illegal activity spiraled out of control (i.e., 10K, 20K or 50K bogus cards).

So why has CU been less than forthcoming about the facts in this case?



BTW ... I'm not trying to be argumentative here. It just doesn't seem that the wishful thinking of the PSA faithful squares with the actions of their preferred grading company.

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#309069 - 01/13/04 07:23 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: deadlyembrace]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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Honestly, I think the reason they don't announce how many cards were affected is that they don't know how many cards were re-holdered. I can't imagine WIWAG kept good records on how many holders they altered, so it's probably a case of "how many times do we see this card getting this grade by this submitter". If PSA says it was under a thousand cards, and it ends up being 1500 or so, then people will jump all over them for trying to "undscore" the problem. If they overstate, they panic people needlessly. They've certainly handled the situation poorly by not releasing more details on potentially affected cards ("be on the look-out for 1985 Topps Mark McGwire PSA 10 with serial #'s in the following range" or things of that sort), and I'll probably be at the top of that list to bash them for that.

In the absence of information, rumor and speculation become the truth to a nervous population. What I have a problem with is people using this as an opportunity to further their own agenda. As for me, I have no agenda. I collect cards, and enjoy this hobby tremendously. Do I collect PSA graded cards? Yes. To the exclusion of other grading companies? Nope (outside of BGS/BVG and the third tier companies). If a better company were to come along that offered the general services PSA has with better holders, better customer service and a more hobby centric focus, I'd cross over my cards in a heartbeat. Until then, in my opinion, PSA is the best of what is admittedly a VERY sorry group of grading companies, kind of like being voted "most likely to suceed" in a juvenille detention program.

Quote:

Sean --

I tend to agree that the "numbers game" ... in the absence of definitive info ... is little more than an interesting exercise. But let's assume that your estimate is correct -- 1000 tainted PSA cards. 1000 bad cards, while not good for consumer morale, is not the problem that 10,000 bad cards ... or 20,000 or 50,000 bad cards ... would be.

In fact, if the scope of this scandal could realistically be limited to 1000 bad cards, it seems that CU would breathe a huge sigh of relief and publicize, in a face-saving way, the idea that the bad guys had been caught before before their illegal activity spiraled out of control (i.e., 10K, 20K or 50K bogus cards).

So why has CU been less than forthcoming about the facts in this case?



BTW ... I'm not trying to be argumentative here. It just doesn't seem that the wishful thinking of the PSA faithful squares with the actions of their preferred grading company.




Edited by Sean_C (01/13/04 07:26 AM)
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#309070 - 01/13/04 12:50 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

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Sean...I think SGC and GAI are fine grading companies. I also think PSA is OK, but I do not think they are as good as the other two. Yes, cards are going to slip through the cracks but that doesn't make a grading company sorry imo. Mike Baker has been grading cards for the longest and has graded virtually every major card in the hobby. I am not trying to promote anyone here, it's just that if he is one of the best the industry has to offer, and you think it isn't good enough, then I understand why you feel the way you do.

I think part of the problem was the creation of the set registry by PSA and now SGC. GAI is also going to create a registry as well. This results in people buying graded cards based on the label and not the card simply to complete a registry set and opens up another can of worms with overgraded commons, large volume submissions by dealers/big time customers, etc. I am not trying to ride my "high horse" because sometimes I feel compelled to complete some of my sets as GAI graded only, but I am doing my best to avoid the temptation. Some people feel mixed-graded sets are not as attractive or valuable as a PSA/SGC graded only set. However, the opposite may be true. I am trying to collect GAI, SGC and PSA graded cards, that are ACCURATELY graded imo, irregardless if my sets have different labels.

I wish the industry would recognize the value of an accurately graded, irregardless of the label on the holder, but those days are long, long gone.



_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309071 - 01/14/04 04:29 PM Re: PSA and IBS *DELETED* [Re: Sean_C]
MW1
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Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Post deleted by dena
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#309072 - 01/15/04 12:41 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: MW1]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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True, my #'s do not reflect off-eBay transactions, or transactions under the cardmrchant account that has been alleged to be connected to them (I've never bought from them, only through G&T, so I have no clue who is connected to whom). A couple of things to keep in mind though:

1). The volume of cards sold on The Pit would have been a heck of a lot less than the ones sold on eBay (I'd say maybe 10%?) . Even back then no one was buying cards on the Pit.

2). Even if you add 25% to those feedback #'s, you would again be presuming that every single card sold under both accounts was bad. We both know that is not the case.

3). Sure the targets were higher value cards. Why take a risk on a 1990 Leaf PSA 9 Sosa rookie? I'm sure you are familiar with the old phrase "It's time to assess the risk/reward ratio of your nickel counterfeiting operation." If they were cracking 1999 Topps Traded Mark Mulder Autographed PSA 9's only to replace them with another one, then they have to go down as one of the stupidest criminal organizations I've seen in a while.

4). As discussed in #3, since they were going after higher-value cards, the # of cards that could potentially have been affected will be smaller. WIWAG's bread and butter sales on eBay were of modern cards in the $25 to $100 range.

5). As for catalog/trade publication sales, again I certainly have no way of knowing how many cards they sold, but I can be pretty certain that whatever they may have had in their inventory went bye-bye when the FBI raided their offices, effectively removing them from the market.

As for your assertions that WIWAG was using unused PSA holders, I'd like to direct you to the following thread , posted at the time everything was going on by Dan Markel. Whatever the issues are between the two of you I don't know nor do I care. All I care to point out is that the post has not been edited since it was put up, and it's a direct press release from the DA's office. For those that don't feel like going "across the street", here is the text of the press release:

============================================

January 17, 2003

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
San Diego, California



United States Attorney
Carol C. Lam


For Further Information, Contact: Assistant U. S. Attorney Melanie K. Pierson (619) 557-5685

For Immediate Release

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY

United States Attorney Carol C. Lam announced today that a local firm and its officers pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Louisa S. Porter to the felony charge of mail fraud in connection with the sale of fraudulent sports cards. The firm, When It Was A Game, Inc. ("WIWAG"), has offices in San Diego, California, and from 1998 to the present was engaged in the business of buying and selling both graded and ungraded sports cards. Co-defendants John Slight and Craig Kreider are the co-owners of the company.

The quality of a sports card can be graded by an independent grading company on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest quality. A card that is graded as a 10 is typically sold for over twice as much as a card graded as a 9. When an independent grading company assesses a sports card, it assigns a grade to the card and seals the card and a label indicating the grade, in a plexiglass case, called a "slab". The seal on the slab is intended to be permanent.

In connection with their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted that they would sometimes remove cards that had been graded as 10 or 9 from the slab and replace them with lower quality cards. The lower quality cards would then be sold by the defendants in the slabs which bore the label falsely stating the higher grade. The defendants intended to deceive buyers into believing that the lower quality cards were actually of higher grade, thereby fraudulently inflating their value.

Specifically, the defendants further acknowledged that on August 21, 2002, they submitted an Upper Deck SP Authentic Series sports card of Bonzi Wells to an independent grader. The card was marked by Upper Deck as card number 0946 of 3500 cards produced. This card was graded as a "10", placed in a slab bearing certification number 40077235, and returned to the defendants on September 11, 2002. Thereafter, on September 22, 2002, a Bonzi Wells card, bearing certificate number 40077235 from the independent grading company and allegedly graded as a "10" was sold by the defendants to an individual in Spring, Texas. However, the card that was in the slab when purchased by that individual was a lower quality card, number 0594 of 3500.

The next appearance date for the defendants is June 25, 2003, at 8:30 a.m. before United States District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz for acceptance of the plea and sentencing.



DEFENDANTS

When It Was A Game, Inc.
San Diego, California
Incorporated in California, 1998



John Slight
San Diego, California



Craig Kreider
San Diego, California



SUMMARY OF CHARGE

Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341
Maximum Penalty (for individuals): 5 yrs. in custody and/or $250,000 fine
Maximum Penalty (for corporation): $1 million fine



AGENCY

Federal Bureau of Investigation


Official News Release from the Department of Justice


==================================


the defendants admitted that they would sometimes remove cards that had been graded as 10 or 9 from the slab and replace them with lower quality cards. The lower quality cards would then be sold by the defendants in the slabs which bore the label falsely stating the higher grade. Seems pretty clear to me. If you have information to the contrary, you might want to contact the DA's office in California, as I'm sure they'd love to hear from you, as they can bring additional charges against them.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I know that I don't have all of the information, and doubt that short of a request under the Freedom of Information act I ever will get all of the info. I'll say this though: neither do you Mike, and neither do you Greg. What you have is rumor and speculation from others in the hobby that they present as fact. Sure there are some PSA sheep who probably think that the only card affected was the Bonzi Wells mentioned above, and I'm sure there are some SGC sheep who think that there are 100,000 tainted PSA slabs out there. Neither # is right, and neither you, me, Dan, Greg, nor anyone else not directly involved in the case has any clue how many might have been affected. If you have cold, hard, proof that they were slabbing their own cards, please present it, as you'd be doing the hobby a great service. If not, all you are doing is making yourself to look like a bitter former PSA Authorized dealer who's legit beefs with the company are lost or fall on deaf ears in this static.


Quote:

Sean,

Please don't take this the wrong way, but you are misinformed about the extent of the WIWAG/PSA Holder Scandal.

For instance, the numbers you provide only take into account those transactions that can be tracked through eBay feedback. As we all know, not everyone gives feedback so the total number of transactions by WIWAG and Grade & Trade cannot be determined solely be viewing each feedback profile. I would suggest that numbers 25 to 50% greater would be more accurate for these two venues.

Add to that total the following:

1. WIWAG transactions outside of eBay (after-auction sales and add-ons).

2. WIWAG direct sales through magazine advertising (e.g., in their frequent two-page spread in the SMR).

3. Transactions that took place through ThePit (yes, WIWAG was a major supplier).

4. Transactions dating from December 2002 to the present (just over a year) from WIWAG's other eBay ID.

5. WIWAG transactions at several Nationals where thousands of cards were unloaded to other prominent PSA dealers and customers.

6. WIWAG consignments to all the major auction houses from 2000 to 2003.

Obviously, this would considerably increase the extent and scope of the WIWAG/PSA Holder Scandal. I should also point out that WIWAG did indeed obtain unused PSA holders and were literally grading their own cards.

I am hesitant to assign a specific number to the problem, but there's no question that it's greater than 10,000 fraudulently graded cards. I also have reason to believe that the problem affects mostly higher ticket cards ($200 and up).


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#309073 - 01/15/04 06:11 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Quote:

the defendants admitted that they would sometimes remove cards that had been graded as 10 or 9 from the slab and replace them with lower quality cards. The lower quality cards would then be sold by the defendants in the slabs which bore the label falsely stating the higher grade.




Do you think that the vague statement above was worded that way on accident? If in that statement you have deduced that WIWAG was taking cards out of a particular holder and then replacing that card and resealing the same holder then I highly recommend that you seek help in improving your reading comprehension. That statement does not say exactly what the defendants were doing, does it?

Would it at all be surprising to you if CU decided not to come out and tell everyone, "Hey guys, WIWAG had unused holders and a sealing machine and had taken it upon themselves to start grading their own cards. The good news is that we found out about it and have put an end to this activity, the bad news is that there are several thousand (10,000, 35,000 or 100,000--you pick) of cards in collections and dealers inventory that we need to get back." While this would be the best solution, it would also have a marked impact on consumer confidence in the CU product initially. Everyone would go into a panic and start dumping their PSA graded cards. Submissions would go down and collections and inventory would be devalued overnight.

You may want to think that the information that I have is rumor so that you can sleep better at night but I can assure you that I would not be so irresponsible to repeatedly go on public message boards calling out the misinformation. I know that:

1) CU has not given the public all of the real facts about the case.
2) the number of cards/holders involved is a staggering number and not limited to the 900 or so that were purchased by the handful of people that sent cards in for review totaling less than $20,000 in restitution.
3) the defendants reported many millions of dollars in salaries during the time that this crime was being perpetrated.
4) WIWAG had a sealing machine and an abundant supply of unused holders.
5) WIWAG has been able to continue to conduct business as usual and submit to PSA but was required to do so under other people/businesses. The public was not notified that this was occurring.

Because of the way that CU handled this they are actually now at the mercy of WIWAG (not to mention Real Legends and anyone who finds that they are holding bad cards). The larger the scale of this crime the worse it would have been for CU and WIWAG. The brains behind this decided that it would just be better to downplay the entire thing. Maybe that helps explain why CU never came out and gave any details nor any follow up.

Maybe you should take 35 seconds and ask yourself what in the f--- I have to gain by speaking out and alienating myself with the a huge collector base who only collect PSA graded cards and think that PSA is the best thing since sliced bread. I am a card dealer and a collector. I am not trying to start up my own grading company and I am not on the payroll or a spokesperson for any of the grading companies, although I clearly have my preference as to where I submit cards. And believe it or not I am not interested in seeing PSA go out of business. Although CU's competitors may not agree, but I think that it is fantastic to have choices on where to send cards and there is certainly enough business to go around.

Greg

Edited to add:
Under item 2) above I meant to write $60,000 not $20,000. Just wanted to clarify.



Edited by botn (01/16/04 12:11 AM)

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#309074 - 01/15/04 11:35 PM ... [Re: Sean_C]
MW1
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Registered: 07/30/02
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#309075 - 01/16/04 07:19 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: MW1]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
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Does anyone know what (if any) usernames WIWAG is using to sell cards on eBay?

John

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#309076 - 01/16/04 10:05 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Yes but I suggest that you contact Joe Orlando and ask him. Not trying to be difficult but since CU has created their version of a Witness Protection Program for WIWAG, this type of information should come from them.

You may also want to check with our mutual board member, Sean.




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#309077 - 01/16/04 10:28 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

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Well...I cannot see how you are "helping" the card community by not filling us on those ebay names (which I would try to avoid).
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#309078 - 01/16/04 11:09 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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If CU did not think that it should disclose that information to the public then why should it be my responsibility? Keep in mind that I am the guy that many of you love to discredit.

Why don't you pick up your telephone and give Joe Orlando a call? I would think that the information that he could tell you is going to be interpreted as being far more reliable than what I can provide. And the call is free.

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#309079 - 01/16/04 11:22 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: MW1]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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Quote:

reliable sources who have first hand experience with the WIWAG debacle have detailed a pretty extensive problem that continues to this day




Who are these people, Mike? If you are so certian of your information, why won't you name your sources? This is exactly what I've been talking about. Without providing specifics as to it's origin, your information is not credible. Heck, reliable sources have told me that you lied to me about the whole National incident. Should I believe them or you?

I assure you Mike, I'm not in denial as to the impact what happened. When the story first broke I was ready to get rid of all of my cards, graded or otherwise. After getting through the "chicken little" phase of the scandal, I realized that as long as I made sure that I inspected the cases better, inspected the cards better, I'd probably not get taken in. If I did, oh well, that's the risk I was taking. The risk of me potentially buying a raw, trimmed/altered card was far greater than me buying a WIWAG card.

You are both entitled to your opinions, and I respect that you have them. Just don't start expressing your opinons as "the truth", since neither your "opinions" nor my "opinions" are "the truth". If you have specific evidence (again, names, #'s, photos, etc.) please post them as it will back up your claims. Who knows, you might even be able to get me to change my opinion as well. The only thing I am influenced by is proof.

Personally, if I were the 2 of you, I'd be more concerned with the fact that the card doctor has been selling a boat load of SGC graded cards latley rather than what happened a year ago with a company that neither of you are associated with anymore. And yes, I've already gone about 5 rounds with Joe Orlando about the # of PSA cards Dr. Trim has been selling. Those PSA cases scare me a hell of a lot more than WIWAG.




Quote:

Sean,

I'm not sure why you persist in your denial, but there's no question that the scope of the WIWAG/PSA holder scandal is considerably greater than what most perceive and that CU's response to this problem was severely inadequate. And yes, on the subject of encapsulation, there is no question that WIWAG obtained and used unused holders. That being said, I do not believe that buying high dollar vintage cards in PSA holders is a good value.

One other point. The figures that you provide are mere guesstimates based on your subjective opinions. In reality, reliable sources who have first hand experience with the WIWAG debacle have detailed a pretty extensive problem that continues to this day -- a problem that affects many of the top collectors as many high dollar cards in fraudulent PSA holders REMAIN in the hobby. Do the math. Millions of dollars in revenue, $60,000 in refunds.




Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:50 AM)
_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309080 - 01/16/04 12:11 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline
Greg-

I apologize for asking you to actually"back up" your statements.


Edited by Basilone (01/16/04 12:47 PM)

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#309081 - 01/16/04 12:55 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
I concur. You are sorry.

It certainly is interesting to watch how people react when they feel powerless and are motivated by trying to protect themselves. It is so fitting that you said, (which I would try to avoid) in reference to wanting to know who WIWAG is operating under. Emphasis on the I. Notice how you were not asking on behalf of the collectors.

What a conflict you must feel too. To desire information from a person who you will quickly discredit when he does not cave in to your whim. You are more than willing to be civil towards me if I give you what you want. Amazing thing is that you prefer to use me as a scapegoat because you (collectively) do not have the moxie to go after CU for all of the answers.







Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:29 AM)

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#309082 - 01/16/04 12:59 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline
Hey Mello-Mint (Greg)

Who do you think you are talking to?


Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:30 AM)

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#309083 - 01/16/04 01:06 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Don't worry Greg, I've already PM'd him the ID (I mentioned it in one of my posts earlier as well). Anyone else seeing the irony of him telling, yet he lacks the courage to back up his accusations against PSA the the evidence he claims to have?


Quote:

I concur. You are sorry.

It certainly is interesting to watch how people react when they feel powerless. What a conflict you must feel too. To desire information from a person who you will quickly discredit when he does not cave in to your whim. You are more than willing to be civil towards me if I give you what you want. Amazing thing is that you prefer to use me as a scapegoat because you (collectively) do not have the moxie to go after CU for all of the answers.





Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:34 AM)
_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309084 - 01/16/04 01:12 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Quote:

Hey Mello-Mint (Greg)



I can see that you really are an outsider in the hobby. If you think that addressing me as Mello-Mint (Greg) as an attmept to out me then all you have done is revealed how truly ignorant you are to what is happening in the hobby. That id is my buying id and I have never hidden behind this fact. Everyone, except you I guess, knows that is me. e-mails for both of my ebay ids go to my domain botn.com. If I wanted to remain anonymous I would not use the domain that I owned for both ebay ids.

If you do not like the tone of what I write then you should consider cleaning up your poor attitude towards me. Who do you think you are? You always have the option of not posting here.


Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:36 AM)

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#309085 - 01/16/04 01:18 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline

I suggest that you quit slamming people.....you are about the only person on this board who does it on a regular basis. Funny...I can talk hockey cards with MW and talk 1963 Fleers with NJDolphins but you have to be so defensive regarding an question that could help ALL collectors.

Im not going to back down and will not be bullied by you.

Oh by the way...another board member here gave me the answer I was looking for...thanks to me posting the question.


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#309086 - 01/16/04 01:27 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Sean,

Irony? Asking John, a PSA lemming, to confront Joe Orlando is hardly the same as my not giving selfish John information that he could not figure out in 100 years.

John,

In my initial reply to you I told you to contact Sean. You are not even able to do that but had to wait for him to come to you. You are much too self-absorbed.

I do not "slam" people as you say. I only give back what I am given. You only feel bullied around because of your cowardly demeanor. John, don't shoot the messenger. I am not the enemy.

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#309087 - 01/16/04 01:39 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Well Greg, how about PMing me that infomation that you won't give to John? I have confronted Joe, on WIWAG and a few other issues, and am cetainly less than thrilled with his ability to deal with the public. Personally, when I know that I have someone dead to rights, I start blasting away and worry about what people think of me later.

Let's not let this thread degenerate into a flame war, as that's the surest way to get it yanked or locked; something I'd rather not see hapen.

Quote:

Sean,

Irony? Asking John, a PSA lemming, to confront Joe Orlando is hardly the same as my not giving selfish John information that he could not figure out in 100 years.

John,

In my initial reply to you I told you to contact Sean. You are not even able to do that but had to wait for him to come to you. You are much too self-absorbed.

I do not "slam" people as you say. I only give back what I am given. You only feel bullied around because of your cowardly demeanor. John, don't shoot the messenger. I am not the enemy.




Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:44 AM)
_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309088 - 01/16/04 02:26 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Hey Sean,

I am not sure what additional information John is seeking. It seems that you have given him the information about the company (ebay id) that WIWAG is conducting business under.

You can always send me an e-mail.

Thanks

Greg

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#309089 - 01/16/04 02:35 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
I was talking about PMing me your information that backs up your claims that WIWAG had a sealing machine and unused holders, and that the # of affected cards is far greater than what I have suggested so far. If you'd prefer to email me, send it to seanchristian@yahoo.com (My home PC has problems with this site. I hacked up my hosts file to prevent certain pop-ups, and now it has a problem keeping me logged in on some sites like this one).

Quote:

Hey Sean,

I am not sure what additional information John is seeking. It seems that you have given him the information about the company (ebay id) that WIWAG is conducting business under.

You can always send me an e-mail.

Thanks

Greg


_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309090 - 01/16/04 03:28 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
PM'ing you would be the same as my taking out full page ads in every hobby publication. The people who have given me this information have done so in confidence. It is not for me to attach names to the claims that I have made. When they decide to go public that is when you will get the substantiation that you seek, but not any sooner.

I am not in possession of any physical evidence as I was never a party to the action other than from the standpoint of having owned 3 cards that were found to bear evidence of the WIWAG fraud. All of the information that I have written is from people who were extremely close to the matter who trusted me enough to impart me with the facts. My claims are not based on my own investigations conducted.

If, in your eyes, my not providing you with any additional information somehow negates my claims then so be it. I cannot stress enough that other than being disgusted with the CU machine in the way they conduct business, this has no material effect on me.



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#309091 - 01/16/04 04:48 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

Offline
"there's a plate of homemade wishes on the kitchen window sill and an 8 is enough to fill my life with joy"
_________________________
Ken Griffey Jr

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#309092 - 01/16/04 05:47 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: jackstraw]
wrigleyfield
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 163

Offline
Hopefully this thread will be shutdown.
_________________________
WrigleyField

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#309093 - 01/16/04 06:08 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: wrigleyfield]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
So what is the ebay user id for this guy that is now selling SGC cards? I'd like to know for my own safeguards. If someone know, just PM me, please.

I find the thread very ....gulp, entertaining.






Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:47 AM)
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309094 - 01/16/04 07:07 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: estang]
KLL
Hobbyist


Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 62

Offline
I too am growing tired of this bs from the same handful of contributors. Go to the Network board and post this stuff.



Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:55 AM)

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#309095 - 01/16/04 08:57 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: KLL]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
For BS this thead certainly has registered a huge number of views. If you do feel that topic and content of the thread is BS then you probably should consider avoiding any thread that I start.
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#309096 - 01/17/04 04:12 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: estang]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

Offline
Estang,

You may find this thread interesting...

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=242930&highlight_key=y&keyword1=strange


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#309097 - 01/17/04 06:52 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
JustCallMeSmelly
Just got here


Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 1

Offline
Greg,

Go yourself.


Regards,


Alan


Edited by SGCmod (01/17/04 07:41 AM)

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#309098 - 01/17/04 08:36 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: JustCallMeSmelly]
aconte
Bid more or post more... tough one...


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1896
Loc: On The Beach....where else!

Offline
J.C.M.S.,

Would like to take the time to welcome you to the boards!

Look forward to some contests for free cards!

WELCOME!

aconte
_________________________

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#309099 - 01/17/04 09:47 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: aconte]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

Offline
Aconte > I was thinking the same thing as joke. Free PSA card for SGC crossover contest!

_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309100 - 01/17/04 10:04 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: JustCallMeSmelly]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Alan Coward,

If this is really you I am flattered that you would take the time to come over here to post just on my account. It seems that you are now contributing as much to the SGC forums as you do on the CU forums. What an industry leader you are!!

My only request is that you not establish any anonymous ids here like you have done on the CU forum.

Happy collecting,

Greg

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#309101 - 01/17/04 11:39 AM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: botn]
wrigleyfield
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 163

Offline
Controversial topics are great. It is when the discussion degenerates into negative personal attacks that is the problem.
_________________________
WrigleyField

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#309102 - 01/17/04 01:08 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: wrigleyfield]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

Offline
WF > I agree!

If people want to make things intensely personal, they should use email, phone, text messaging, snail mail and the like.
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309103 - 01/17/04 07:39 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: vayank]
KLL
Hobbyist


Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 62

Offline
Could someone post a little information regarding Gary Moser? Who he is? And what is his username on ebay???

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#309104 - 01/17/04 08:33 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: KLL]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

Offline
Just a word of thanks for what Michael and Greg are trying to do for the hobby.

I have met neither of these guys personally but the fact that they speak out about what is wrong with the industry and sacrifice customers who will not do business with them is admirable.

Hopefully Michael will be allowed back and both will speak out about the things that are wrong with this business.

Jim

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#309105 - 01/17/04 10:11 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: Davalillo1]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Jim,

I do appreciate your support. I am not sure that you have done a whole lot of business over the years but your words are of far more significance to me. Thank you. Mike and I were just speaking tonight on the topic of the choices that each of us has made and how the results may not have been the best thing for our bottom lines. We both actually got a laugh about it. Hopefully one day people will understand that the things that have been said and written were done out of a futility and disappointment over certain occurrences in the hobby and our desire for change.

Nick M from the CU forum wrote me tonight about WIWAG I thought that I should paste the content of my e-mail here. Still slightly on topic. Hopefully CU members will read it and find it helpful, most likely it will be written off as more of my agenda.


Nick had asked a question about the holders and flips that WIWAG was using. Here is my reply:


I do know from former employees of CU that WIWAG had a sealing machine and that they had an enormous supply of unused holders. I do not know whether these were holders that they knocked off overseas or if they offered money to a corrupt CU employee to remove them from CU's inventory of holders. I understand from Steve Rocchi and Mike Baker that right before they left, CU changed over its inventory control of the holders making the possibility of someone gaining possession of them a simple process. I believe that part of the internal control process included using at least two different plastic manufactures--the top and bottom of the holders were made of slightly different plastic from these manufactures. Apparently to save costs CU decided to have one manufacturer do the entire process and get the volume discount.

As for the flips I have heard, but cannot corroborate, that WIWAG was also knocking off the flips and using cert numbers over and over. I find this hard to believe due to the volume of cards registered in collector's sets. Surely there would be a conflict very quickly if 10 different 1958 Mantles in PSA 7's all with the same cert numbers surfaced and collectors tried to register them in their sets. The gig would have been up much quicker.

I feel that WIWAG was just submitting massive quantities of cards over and over during a number of years. They were one of PSA’s largest submitters year over year. They would use "stock cards" that would continue to grade the same over and over each time getting a new flip with a unique cert number. This is very easy to pull off on modern issues even in high grade. Also could be done easily with vintage issues up to the 8 grade. WIWAG would break out the “stock card” and flip. They would take that flip and reuse it by placing it within an inferior quality card and sealing it in a new holder.

As far back as 1996 I remember having numerous discussions with Steve Rocchi about the prevalence of altered cards submitted by WIWAG. WIWAG was confronted by PSA at the time. As far back as 1989 I had spent a great deal of money with WIWAG on raw high grade material. None of it graded when it was finally sent in to PSA in 1996 due to power erasing, trimming, color added, etc. WIWAG did take some of the cards back and issue credit or refunds. The only reason that this is significant now is because they were sealing/grading their own cards and the likelihood is that many of the cards that are still in circulation may not be just "over graded" but altered and worthless.

As of a several months ago only 900 cards were bought back through the restitution program totaling less than 60K in payments to victims. It might have even been less than 30K but my memory is failing me on the amount. That is not even the tip of the iceberg. The enormity of this crime reaches at the very minimum of tens of thousands of cards. This is also the reason that CU had negotiated during the sentencing for an open ended guarantee by WIWAG to cover all cards that collectors/dealers sent in for review if they suspected foul play. CU has not gone public with that fact as far as I know.

WIWAG has some affiliation with ebay user http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&include=0&userid=cardmrchnt%40aol.com&sort=3&rows=25&since=-1&rd=1. In fact it was someone on the CU forum several months before I was banned that saw that WIWAG was hosting this person's images for ebay auctions. They also happen to be located within extremely close proximately of one another. After the fraud charges were filed against WIWAG I was told by an upper management CU employee that WIWAG was still permitted to submit cards and sell cards but that they must do it under other people. I was told that there were a couple of people that they were doing this under. I was not told specifically who these people were but when I asked if the above person was one of them I was told "I am not able to say but you may want to avoid or at a minimum be very careful of high volume dealers out of the San Diego area."

Feel free to share all of this with anyone you want. If you want to post it to the forum in its entirety that would be fine with me. CU will only end up taking it down but people should know what is really going on. There are so many PSA faithfuls who write off anything that comes out of my mouth as my being bitter, having a hidden agenda, etc. I can assure you on my life that everything that I have written is the absolute truth as I know it from incredibly reliable sources. This hobby needs a serious overhaul. CU is not leading by example.




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#309106 - 01/19/04 05:37 PM Executive Outburst [Re: botn]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

Offline
Joe Orlando added a very confrontational post across the street. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but this was the wrong way out. Presidents should remain above the fray, unflustered and supremely confident. I am pretty amazed that a president of company would personalize things like he has. And you raise the profile and stature of the person making the criticism. It's one thing for trolls and shills to post stuff like that (I refer to tone and level of personalization), but the company president? It's Vince McMahon/WWE school of management!

This is not the tone of an accomplished, mature and self-assured executive.

Executive Outburst

Quote:

Hello All,

I only have one thing to say about these comments regarding PSA and these dealers:

Please consider the source of this garbage.

I have read through comments made by BOTN and others on the other boards and it is an absolute joke to me that these guys continue to whine, complain and attack PSA when anyone with half a brain knows that they have specific agenda. I can tell you this: It is very refreshing to see that there are plenty of people on the boards who discount what they say immediately because, truthfully, all they are trying to do is rally a few bitter souls to join their pathetic anti-PSA club.

The claims are baseless. I know most of you realize that but it needs to be said one more time. I came on the boards weeks ago in order to address this problem - the problem of people literally making up stories about PSA.

Bottom line- this whole thing is a bad joke - end of story.

Jealousy is a powerful thing.

Take care,

Joe Orlando
PSA President



_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309107 - 01/19/04 07:28 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: vayank]
njdolphins
The Collectinator


Registered: 05/30/03
Posts: 333
Loc: Trimmed, Pressed, Power Erased

Offline
Ah, kindly Uncle Joe.........have to make sure he gets put back in the will for his adult-like behavior..........what a baby.......go back to sleep Joe
_________________________

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#309108 - 01/19/04 07:40 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: njdolphins]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Signs of stress...A public relations firm or consultant is what is needed by PSA management to assist in handling their dilemna.

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309109 - 01/19/04 08:26 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: estang]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
This is not the first time that Joe has lashed out at someone displaying a complete lack of control and terrible conduct. Joe has insulted Jim Crandell several times on the forum.

Joe claims that I have an agenda and I am just curious what that agenda is and if he can articulate it in a civil manner.

Joe is desperate now. His editorial in the SMR titled Whack Jobs is just another way of his using his voice to dodge claims that he knows to be true. Hey Joe want to see the trimmed cards that I am in possession of that I sent into PSA directly? I will keep doing it as long as your graders are unable to detect these simple and easily detectable alterations. Tell me what would constitute enough evidence to demonstrate the lack of competence in your grading room.



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#309110 - 01/19/04 10:44 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline
Quote:

Hey Joe want to see the trimmed cards that I am in possession of that I sent into PSA directly? I will keep doing it as long as your graders are unable to detect these simple and easily detectable alterations.




Are you telling the world you sell trimmed PSA cards?...if so...do you notify your customer(s) in advance?

or...do you just keep them for yourself?

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#309111 - 01/19/04 11:00 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
John,

Go away, really. If you want to start stuff take it off of the board. Maybe you can explain how submitting implies selling. Your insinuation is not worthy of addressing but just so that you do not take this out of context, being the troublemaker that you are, the cards are here in my safe.

They will be used to prove to Joe that PSA is having difficulty in the grading room. The trim jobs are as basic as one can find yet the graders missed this. I will keep submitting them and I will start acquiring them. How many tens of thousands of holders containing just trimmed cards will it take for a lemming like you to believe reality?

If you have anything to add to this conversation that can be helpful to the public then please post. Otherwise go pick on someone who lacks your same intelligence.

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#309112 - 01/19/04 11:09 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline

Do you have scans? Im sure we would all love to see them.


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#309113 - 01/19/04 11:17 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
I have the cards so of course I have scans. This is not the place to present this material. They will be presented to Joe in due time. I want to make sure that I have enough examples that were graded at different times to show him what a mess he has on his hands. I am sure that he will tell me that they are all fine. That is his usual approach with me.

I would love to have the support of guys like you but I doubt that my showing you scans will be enough to sway your opinion of me and my claims.

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#309114 - 01/19/04 11:26 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline

Most collectors could learn a thing or two by looking at various examples of trimmed and/or doctored cards.

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#309115 - 01/19/04 11:46 PM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: Basilone]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
John,

I agree with you 110%. If more collectors could identify issues such as trimming they might look at graded cards differently. There are many alterations that you cannot show in a scan to easily demonstrate the work. Scans can be misleading and can make it hard to see the subtleties of a trim, for instance. Then there are of course those chop jobs that you can easily see from even a low-resolution scan.

Greg


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#309116 - 01/20/04 05:03 AM Re: Executive Outburst [Re: botn]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

Offline
I was surprised (I guess I shouldn't be to read Joe's post). I do not submit any cards to PSA anymore only because customer service was shoddy and I felt grading accuracy was better elsewhere. But now, it seems he's turning it into a classless organization as well, (I hope this isn't the case as his loyal customers deserve better). I agree with those that a President of a company should remain above the fray.



Edited by grilloj39 (01/20/04 05:25 AM)
_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309117 - 01/22/04 12:34 PM Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
This was posted over on that Yahoo CLCT messageboard by Dan Markel. Take this for what you will, but I'm willing to believe the prosecutor responsible for the guilty plea than unnamed "hobby sources".

Quote:



More recently, I have made three phone calls to the same federal prosecutor in charge of the WIWAG case. The reason for calling was to get details regarding some unsubstantiated rumors posted by several VERY DUBIOUS message board posters.


Rumor: There were at least 100,000 holders tampered with and PSA knows this.

Fact: The exact quantity is not known but the prosecutor told me, "it could have been as high as several thousand, but I can't be sure of the exact number". I asked if WIWAG turned in any records of how many they switched and the attorney said, "No, WIWAG never revealed how many they tampered with and no records were found."


Rumor: The defendants reported many millions of dollars in salaries during the time that this crime was being perpetrated.

Fact: According the the prosecutor, Slight and Kreider pled guilty shortly after being arrested. There was no actual trial and no such information was ever released by the DOJ.


Rumor: WIWAG had an abundant supply of unused of PSA holders in their possession.

Fact: According the person in charge of the investigation, no counterfeit nor stolen PSA holders were found. The investigation found that the defendants were switching cards in existing PSA holders. The question regarding the counterfeit or stolen PSA holders was asked repeatedly to insure that there was no confusion regarding what was being asked.
It became clear in the discussion that had they been using stolen or counterfeit holders, they would have received additional criminal charges against them.




_________________________
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#309118 - 01/22/04 12:58 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: Sean_C]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

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seanc...I do not see how this would make a PSA advocate as far as the WIWAG scandal is concerned feel better. If anything it reveals a definite flaw in the PSA holder for so many holders to be tampered with. Also the fact that no empty PSA holders were found doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Several Thousand can imply a lot of holders and the fact that no estimate can be determined should be worrisome. I draw no further favorable or negative conclusion about PSA from this post. It just reinforces the ambiguity of the whole sorry situation.


Edited by grilloj39 (01/22/04 12:59 PM)
_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309119 - 01/22/04 01:16 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: grilloj39]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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It's certainly not the best of answers, but it's better than anything I've seen from PSA so far. What's sad is that PSA hasn't provided any additional updates since their initial disclosure, instead letting everyone twist in the wind.

As for "the fact that no empty PSA holders were found doesn't mean they didn't exist.", quite true, but it also means that you can't prove they did. I could be wrong here, but I'm willing to wager that if no holders or sealing machine were found during the raid on their office, nor during the course of the rest of the investigation, I'm going to have to say that none existed. I wouldn't take PSA's word that they didn't and I won't take Greg or Mike word that did. I will, however, believe a statement from the federal prosecutor of the case, since they are probably the only party in the case not interested in the potential fallout in the hobby. If anyone has direct proof to the contrary, I'd love to see it and would gladly appologize and retract my statements.



Quote:

seanc...I do not see how this would make a PSA advocate as far as the WIWAG scandal is concerned feel better. If anything it reveals a definite flaw in the PSA holder for so many holders to be tampered with. Also the fact that no empty PSA holders were found doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Several Thousand can imply a lot of holders and the fact that no estimate can be determined should be worrisome. I draw no further favorable or negative conclusion about PSA from this post. It just reinforces the ambiguity of the whole sorry situation.


_________________________
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#309120 - 01/22/04 03:49 PM I hoped the Horse was Dead, but since it isn't ..... [Re: Sean_C]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

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Is it true that these folks are still permitted to sell baseball cards, and that they can submit cards to psa, albeit through third parties?
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309121 - 01/22/04 03:57 PM Re: I hoped the Horse was Dead, but since it isn't ..... [Re: vayank]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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No clue on that one, but I wouldn't be surprised. It's sad that checking out graded card cases has become akin to checking out the wrapper and seals on the back of a vintage wax pack, but it has. Truth be told though: what has happened in the past isn't what bothers me, it's what new scams and tricks people play in the future that worries me the most.

Quote:

Is it true that these folks are still permitted to sell baseball cards, and that they can submit cards to psa, albeit through third parties?


_________________________
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#309122 - 01/22/04 05:19 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Speaking of people with agendas, Dan does not really have all of his facts straight and clearly his judgment is clouded by his fear of what might happen to his investment in PSA holders. In the next few days I hope to be posting far more information relating to the WIWAG matter that will clearly point this out. I am waiting for a call back from one a representative of one of the agencies who was directly involved in bringing the charges.

Dan's post on the Yahoo stocks boards for CLCT titled " Q&A from Dept. of Justice on WIWAG” may contain more wishful thinking than it does facts. I spoke with The US Attorney's today as well as other agencies that were involved with the WIWAG case and the information that I got was a little different than Dan's. It is all in how you ask the questions.

If that which Dan wrote actually were all of the facts of this case, why didn't CU just come out and tell the public? Based on Dan's investigative reporting, all of the events surrounding the WIWAG case are fairly innocuous and CU certainly could have provided the public with this information just about anytime and certainly anytime after the sentencing in September 2003. I suppose that CU was just waiting for this day in January 2004 for this small time collector to act as their agent and release their official Press Release.

More to follow...

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#309123 - 01/22/04 05:29 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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Will be looking forward to it.


Quote:

Speaking of people with agendas, Dan does not really have all of his facts straight and clearly his judgment is clouded by his fear of what might happen to his investment in PSA holders. In the next few days I hope to be posting far more information relating to the WIWAG matter that will clearly point this out. I am waiting for a call back from one a representative of one of the agencies who was directly involved in bringing the charges.

Dan's post on the Yahoo stocks boards for CLCT titled " Q&A from Dept. of Justice on WIWAG” may contain more wishful thinking than it does facts. I spoke with The US Attorney's today as well as other agencies that were involved with the WIWAG case and the information that I got was a little different than Dan's. It is all in how you ask the questions.

If that which Dan wrote actually were all of the facts of this case, why didn't CU just come out and tell the public? Based on Dan's investigative reporting, all of the events surrounding the WIWAG case are fairly innocuous and CU certainly could have provided the public with this information just about anytime and certainly anytime after the sentencing in September 2003. I suppose that CU was just waiting for this day in January 2004 for this small time collector to act as their agent and release their official Press Release.

More to follow...



_________________________
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#309124 - 01/23/04 06:50 AM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: botn]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

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Quote:

I am waiting for a call back from one a representative of one of the agencies who was directly involved in bringing the charges.





Zardoz?

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#309125 - 01/23/04 05:31 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: botn]
wrigleyfield
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 163

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Is there an official document from the FBI or other government agency involved in the investigation that states what they found or believe the extent (# of cards) of the WIWAG scandal to be? Any other assessment cannot be considered more than a guess or rumor.

_________________________
WrigleyField

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#309126 - 01/23/04 09:04 PM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: wrigleyfield]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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None that I'm aware of, which has been my point all along.

Quote:

Is there an official document from the FBI or other government agency involved in the investigation that states what they found or believe the extent (# of cards) of the WIWAG scandal to be? Any other assessment cannot be considered more than a guess or rumor.




_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309127 - 01/24/04 05:37 AM Re: Not to beat a dead horse, but... [Re: Sean_C]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

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It was stated that the guilty parties pleaded (pled?) out soon after the arrest. Investigations do not end with an arrest. Often that is where the real investigations begin. You have evidence to arrest, but that is often, by itself, not sufficient evidence to convict -- and often new crimes are discovered. But by pleading out, the investigation ended.

I have no doubt that many of the questions, which have been raised, would have been answered if the Feds had to keep digging and investigating and following leads. The facts (or more of them) would have been put on the table.

If CU/PSA wanted to put all facts out on the table, they would have publicly objected to the plea bargain.

And no way would they have failed to object to a plea, which allowed these convicted criminals to continue sell baseball cards.

PSA would not have agreed to a plea, which lets these guys continue to submit cards to PSA. That the offenders have to submit through a third party is hardly a punishment. It just makes them the same as any non-member who submits through dealers.

About everything stated about this case has been disputed and rebutted by one party or another -- except for those last two assertions. If I am wrong, I stand corrected, but I don't think so.

In any case, CU/PSA paved the way for a sweet heart plea bargain, which prompted a quick end to the search for the facts.

So the point here is not that we don't any "facts," but why we don't have any facts, and who benefits from that reality.

Indeed, the only thing this information proves is that a quick plea bargain with a sweet deal for the convicted criminals blocked any full and complete re-telling of the facts, and this occured with apparent acquisience of and benefit to PSA.





Edited by vayank (01/24/04 05:38 AM)
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309128 - 01/24/04 06:11 PM The Facts: Not a Dan Markel Fairy Tale [Re: vayank]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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All of the information that I have written about this matter came from sources at CU. I had assumed that the information that I was given was accurate, although at times vague. After making several calls to the various agencies that were involved in this matter it became abundantly clear that most of the information that I had was not of public record.

In fairly involved telephone conversations with representatives of the FBI and US Attorney’s Office over the last few days I was able to gain more insight into this crime. Most of which is quite different than that which was reported by Dan Markel on the Yahoo CLCT Message Boards. It is too bad that I had to take up valuable time from these people to get this information. It is CU’s job to have fully educated their customers and shareholders and it should not be an individual’s responsibility to dig for this information.

According to the two sources of the FBI, the investigation was covering a 2 year window from the date that the Bonzi Wells card was purchased on September 22, 2002, although the field investigator did say that this slightly pre-dated when the criminal activity began. This means that by both admission of the defendants and evidence obtained, that the reholdering by WIWAG would have been going on from shortly after September of 2000.

At September 22, 2003 about $80,000 in restitution had been made by the defendants to victims. This represented about 1000 cards bought back. I was not able to get an exact quantity of cards that were exchanged or replaced for accurately graded examples, which was also an option to the defendant’s restitution.

When I asked both agencies if the defendant’s salaries were a factor in determining the scope of the crime I was told that was not part of the public record and it could not be commented on. However I do know that when anyone is charged with a felony the Internal Revenue Service is not far away. Although it may not be public record, the financial data of WIWAG and John and Craig would have been available to those close to the investigation, including CU.

Sentencing in Federal cases is based solely on the victim’s losses. The larger the losses, the stiffer the punishment. According to the US Attorney’s office, the financial records of WIWAG were irrelevant in the case for purposes of sentencing. Financial records would have been part of a trial had their been one.

The defendants plead guilty almost immediately after being arrested. In speaking with the field investigator at the FBI, contrary to what Dan has written, “Empty, open holders were found at the San Diego offices of WIWAG. I think that is part of the public record.” This confirms what I was told by sources at CU. When I asked if these were holders stolen or purchased from someone at PSA he could not comment. When I asked him if they were holders that they manufactured he said that he could also not comment.

In speaking with the field investigator I told him that nobody has been very forthcoming with information about the case, including but not limited to an estimate of the number of cards that were involved, what kinds of irregularities in the holders should collectors be looking at to determine if a card was “resealed”, the period of time that the crime was being perpetrated and the exact methods of distribution used by the defendants to sell the fraudulently graded cards. After a slight pause he said, “Only WIWAG or CU could give details as to the specifics of these concerns. I cannot comment.” I sensed a genuine concern in his voice that he was not able to comment further.

When I asked if he felt that there were thousands and thousands of fraudulently graded cards on the market he said, “No I do not as WIWAG was required to send out e-mails to anyone who they sold cards to over the 2 year period by means of their internet either directly or through Grade and Trade. We had many people reply and some had even sent cards in for review that turned out to be fine.” I explained to him that most people who received the e-mail were not aware that WIWAG was selling through Grade and Trade so they were not aware that they may have bought cards indirectly through WIWAG. He said that he could not comment.

He explained, “I could have kept the investigation open far longer to allow for more cards to be discovered but felt that he had already gathered enough evidence to convict. It was a matter of did I want to nail these guys or did I want to REALLY nail these guys. I do not get paid more if I REALLY nail them.” I asked if the scope of his investigation was solely at his discretion or did CU have a say in how extensive it should be? He said, “I could have suggested to CU to keep it open for several more months but I had other cases to pursue and CU CERTAINLY did not want to prolong the investigation.”

He then asked me, “I have not followed this closely since I wrapped up my investigation but did CU ever issue a Press Release about new security features in their holders?” I told him that I did not notice any visual changes with the holders but that I had noticed that they were harder to open and when they did open they would frost on the edges and crack in various places making them pretty much useless.

I then asked if he could tell me if WIWAG was resealing existing holders or was sealing new holders that they either manufactured or got from CU somehow. He paused, “I cannot comment. That has to come from WIWAG or CU.” I told him that the cards that I saw that were eventually bought back or exchanged by WIWAG, showed no evidence that the holder had been resealed which lead many to believe that WIWAG was in possession of unused holders and in effect “counterfeiting”. He then asked, “So would you feel less secure if WIWAG had somehow gotten a hold of unused holders?” I said yes. He then added, “Your intuition about your recent experiences with the PSA holders should give you piece of mind about what was happening. This way I am not telling you something that I should not.” I thanked him for his time.

There is a great deal of details that do not have to come out if the defendants are not formally tried. That is why I have said all along that until there is either a class action suit or a suit by Real Legends that ends in a verdict, the general public will never know the extent of the crime as the details will not be of public record. CU wanted (wants) this matter to go away as quickly as possible that is why, as Matthew from the SGC board has addressed, CU accepted the plea bargain by WIWAG. It was the surest way that this would be kept quiet and out of the public where it would have possibly given CU a black eye. If this was a benign as people like the lovely Dan Markel have portrayed then CU could have come out and just put it on the table in a Press Release. They continue to avoid, ignore and dodge any questions that pertain to the crime.

This is directly from an article by Rocky Landsverk appearing in SCD in January 2003 called INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS ALLEGED CARD FRAUD

Joe Orlando, president of PSA, clarified: “I can’t comment on too many specific details until further notice because it’s still under investigation, but in essence what they were doing was attempting to crack holders and take inferior cards, place them into the holders and pawn them off as real PSA-graded cards, and we were able to catch them.”


So Joe, this is no longer under investigation. How about some specifics now?

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#309129 - 01/24/04 07:05 PM Re: The Facts: Not a Dan Markel Fairy Tale [Re: botn]
dbj77
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Registered: 08/26/03
Posts: 35

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Does anyone know what happened to the returned cards? Did PSA buy them back or was it up to WIWAG? If WIWAG returned money for the cards, did they get to keep them?
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#309130 - 01/26/04 09:21 AM Re: The Facts: Not a Dan Markel Fairy Tale [Re: botn]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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Thank you for the interesting write-up, Greg. Interesting that there is such a discrepancy between the FBI and the prosecutor. Can you do me a favor? Can you either PM me or post here the names and email addresses/#'s of the people you spoke with? If it's of any matter, I'm still waiting for the same type of info from Dan.
_________________________
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#309131 - 01/26/04 05:08 PM Re: The Facts: Not a Dan Markel Fairy Tale [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Not sure where you are finding discrepancies between the prosecutor and the FBI. Neither agency was permitted to say much as most of the details of the case are not of public record due to the plea bargain by WIWAG. The investigator who I spoke with was more willing to take time and address certain issues whereas the assistant prosecutor was more abrupt and due to my questions referred me to the field investigator who was more equipped to address my questions.

I am not anxious to pass along names and numbers. Before you PSA zealots conclude that I made this stuff up my reasoning is this:

1) I have nothing to prove. I put the information out there for those that want to know what I found out. If I owned PSA graded cards I certainly would want to know more. I am not about to get into the [!@#%^&^] match that a certain maniac has attempted to draw me into. For those that still want to doubt what I have written and in effect forgive and excuse WIWAG for the crime they committed and were prosecuted for, I pity you. To turn this thing into a personal matter or to conclude that I have some ulterior motive is merely an attempt to sweep this under the carpet.

2) If people want to go to the efforts that I went to find out who these people are, which is not too difficult to do since there was only one main field agent with the FBI, one prosecutor and one assistant prosecutor, they can make the calls. I do not want to be the person who hands out this information in the event that countless doubters will be contacting these people and bothering them.

Dan Markel posted his alleged conversations with the same agencies that I spoke with. When I contacted each of them I explained that I was a victim of the crime yet was given "no comment" answers to several of the "Facts", as Dan terms them in his "Q & A" post. I am not sure why they would tell me no comment but willingly provide Dan with information that would not have been part of public record. I was not included in their conversations with Dan so I cannot call him a liar. I can only assume that he may not have accurately recalled the conversations. The information that is available is pretty black and white.

Once again, as I have always said, I am willing to take an oath and testify, for what it is worth, on every single thing that I have said and know about this matter. Are Joe Orlando and David Hall willing to do the same? Collectors who do not want to know more about this matter are taking that position because they are afraid of what could happen to the value of their collection of PSA holders. CU/PSA was banking on this shared mutual interest and has therefore been able to make this, virtually, a non-event.

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#309132 - 01/27/04 10:08 AM A correction and some questions [Re: botn]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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One thing I need to clear up. I actually did get the prosecutor's contact information from Dan back on the 15th, so that was my screw-up. When I have a chance to call her, I'll be happy to let you all know what she tells me. As for the rest, I have a few questions:

Quote:

If I owned PSA graded cards I certainly would want to know more.




This is the exact reason I've been so interested in the subject, and have been peppering you guys who claim to have information to spill it. The only thing is that I want facts rather than rumors, and until recently all I've seen here have been baseless rumors from "industry sources" and guesstimates, and all I've gotten from PSA is a blank wall. It seems like we are now at least moving in the right direction


Quote:

To turn this thing into a personal matter or to conclude that I have some ulterior motive is merely an attempt to sweep this under the carpet.




I do think this is a personal matter for you, and I do believe you have an ulterior motive behind your posts about PSA. I don't see how this is an attempt to sweep anything under the carpet though, as the more you talk about it, the more people will question what happened, and that's not always a bad thing. While I disagree with your methods and some of your motive behind your crusade against PSA, questioning the handling of WIWAG is certainly not a bad thing.

Quote:

Once again, as I have always said, I am willing to take an oath and testify, for what it is worth, on every single thing that I have said and know about this matter.




You might be willing to, but are your sources? The prosecutor's information is based on the facts of the case, but some of the other information is still speculative, and still doesn't lead me to believe that they had any sort of sealing machine and unused holders, nor does it explain how the faked certification #'s would have made their way into the cert verification database. If it is proved that they were making their own PSA graded cards from raw holders you'll get a full appology from me, but as of right now I just don't see it, even with the comments you got from the investigator.



Quote:

Not sure where you are finding discrepancies between the prosecutor and the FBI. Neither agency was permitted to say much as most of the details of the case are not of public record due to the plea bargain by WIWAG. The investigator who I spoke with was more willing to take time and address certain issues whereas the assistant prosecutor was more abrupt and due to my questions referred me to the field investigator who was more equipped to address my questions.

I am not anxious to pass along names and numbers. Before you PSA zealots conclude that I made this stuff up my reasoning is this:

1) I have nothing to prove. I put the information out there for those that want to know what I found out. If I owned PSA graded cards I certainly would want to know more. I am not about to get into the [!@#%^&^] match that a certain maniac has attempted to draw me into. For those that still want to doubt what I have written and in effect forgive and excuse WIWAG for the crime they committed and were prosecuted for, I pity you. To turn this thing into a personal matter or to conclude that I have some ulterior motive is merely an attempt to sweep this under the carpet.

2) If people want to go to the efforts that I went to find out who these people are, which is not too difficult to do since there was only one main field agent with the FBI, one prosecutor and one assistant prosecutor, they can make the calls. I do not want to be the person who hands out this information in the event that countless doubters will be contacting these people and bothering them.

Dan Markel posted his alleged conversations with the same agencies that I spoke with. When I contacted each of them I explained that I was a victim of the crime yet was given "no comment" answers to several of the "Facts", as Dan terms them in his "Q & A" post. I am not sure why they would tell me no comment but willingly provide Dan with information that would not have been part of public record. I was not included in their conversations with Dan so I cannot call him a liar. I can only assume that he may not have accurately recalled the conversations. The information that is available is pretty black and white.

Once again, as I have always said, I am willing to take an oath and testify, for what it is worth, on every single thing that I have said and know about this matter. Are Joe Orlando and David Hall willing to do the same? Collectors who do not want to know more about this matter are taking that position because they are afraid of what could happen to the value of their collection of PSA holders. CU/PSA was banking on this shared mutual interest and has therefore been able to make this, virtually, a non-event.



_________________________
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#309133 - 01/27/04 11:28 AM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: Sean_C]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

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Sean --

A quick response to one of your points ...

Quote:

nor does it explain how the faked certification #'s would have made their way into the cert verification database.




With their own equipment, all a counterfitter would need is knowledge of a legitimate serial number for a given card in a certain grade. Thereafter, multiples could be "created" at will.

No red flags would be raised unless two or more collectors attempted to register cards with identical serial numbers. And even then, PSA's registry verification process would have to be thorough enough to determine that:

1. it is a legitimate card (card description / grade / serial number combination), AND

2. it has not already been registered by another owner.

That second check, while simple and obvious in hindsight, would anticipate the prospect that someone could "create" their own PSA-graded cards and that PSA should be wary.

Do you think PSA was this savvy in advance of the WIWAG mess?


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#309134 - 01/27/04 01:10 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: deadlyembrace]
Sean_C
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Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

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The second check was designed so that people couldn't "kidnap" or "hold hostage" #'s in the registry. It does now have the added benefit of acting as a sort of WIWAG detector, but I doubt they even had that in mind when it was first created. So far I don't think anyone has reported any problems on the registry that bogus duplicate serial #'s for previously registered cards would have created. Since we are almost all in agreement that more valuable cards were the targets in WIWAG's little scam, I'm sure that if 2 people tried to register the same cert #'d PSA 8 Roger Maris rookie in their 1958 sets, one of the two would have gone complaining to the Set Registry board before attempting to contact PSA where the situation could indeed have been hushed up. It's been a year now, and the # of cards in the registry has just about doubled with not one of these sorts of complaints. To me, that says either:

A). They weren't using new holders and duplicating serial #'s

B). They were, but the population of affected cards is small enough that it hasn't been detected yet.

C). They were, but the cards were not popular enough for people to have purchased them for their registered sets.






Quote:

Sean --

A quick response to one of your points ...

Quote:

nor does it explain how the faked certification #'s would have made their way into the cert verification database.




With their own equipment, all a counterfitter would need is knowledge of a legitimate serial number for a given card in a certain grade. Thereafter, multiples could be "created" at will.

No red flags would be raised unless two or more collectors attempted to register cards with identical serial numbers. And even then, PSA's registry verification process would have to be thorough enough to determine that:

1. it is a legitimate card (card description / grade / serial number combination), AND

2. it has not already been registered by another owner.

That second check, while simple and obvious in hindsight, would anticipate the prospect that someone could "create" their own PSA-graded cards and that PSA should be wary.

Do you think PSA was this savvy in advance of the WIWAG mess?




_________________________
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#309135 - 01/27/04 01:29 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: deadlyembrace]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Quote:

One thing I need to clear up. I actually did get the prosecutor's contact information from Dan back on the 15th, so that was my screw-up. When I have a chance to call her, I'll be happy to let you all know what she tells me. As for the rest, I have a few questions:



You seem to think that I am asking you to prove something to me. I am not. I do not need to hear what the prosecutor tells you. I have already had these conversations. I am also not the one who seems to be in the dark and distrusts everything that has been written. The prosecutor is only going to have limited information to give you as there was no trial and she did not handle the investigation.

Quote:

This is the exact reason I've been so interested in the subject, and have been peppering you guys who claim to have information to spill it. The only thing is that I want facts rather than rumors, and until recently all I've seen here have been baseless rumors from "industry sources" and guesstimates, and all I've gotten from PSA is a blank wall. It seems like we are now at least moving in the right direction



Is it so hard to imagine that I may have been given information that was not intended to be shared at the time and would not be part of the public record? If you want to call what I have written as baseless rumors and guesstimates then you are only becoming part of the problem. I have provided a very detailed conversation that I had with the FBI and US Attorney's office yet you do not even believe that until you check it out yourself. I understand your wanting to verify the information but you are not someone who is going to be convinced regardless of what information you acquire for the reasons that you outlined below.

Quote:

I do think this is a personal matter for you, and I do believe you have an ulterior motive behind your posts about PSA. I don't see how this is an attempt to sweep anything under the carpet though, as the more you talk about it, the more people will question what happened, and that's not always a bad thing. While I disagree with your methods and some of your motive behind your crusade against PSA, questioning the handling of WIWAG is certainly not a bad thing.



You, Orlando and Markel are all convinced that this is a personal matter and that I have an ulterior motive. I am not asking you to speak for them but I am just curious what it is that you think really is motivating me to alienate myself from a great majority of the collectors who at the very minimum support the PSA Set Registry not to mention the countless collectors who will not buy from me because they all assume, like the 3 of you, that I am have my own secret agenda? If I have an ulterior motive then there must be some grand plan of mine and I am just curious what you might think that is. Your thought process pinpoints exactly why this crime has been kept quiet for so long. It is quickly assumed that everything and anything that a person does is motivated by some personal gain. I am just wondering if you could expound on your theory of how I am personally benefiting from spending my time speaking out and in what way I am going to benefit my business or personal life by asking CU to come clean about this matter? If by my continually writing about this somehow forces CU to have to make a public statement giving details yet not talked about, how do I benefit?
Quote:

You might be willing to, but are your sources?



If you are familiar with the judicial system then you will know that if my sources are not willing to talk, which would not be the case, then they would be subpoenaed.

Quote:

The prosecutor's information is based on the facts of the case, but some of the other information is still speculative, and still doesn't lead me to believe that they had any sort of sealing machine and unused holders, nor does it explain how the faked certification #'s would have made their way into the cert verification database. If it is proved that they were making their own PSA graded cards from raw holders you'll get a full appology from me, but as of right now I just don't see it, even with the comments you got from the investigator.



If you think that the information is speculative then why did John and Craig plead guilty and pay restitution? They admitted to having perpetrated this crime of placing inferior cards in holders. How could they do this if they did not have holders in which to place the inferior cards in and the ability to seal those holders? It is part of the public record that empty holders were found at their office in San Diego. Not in the trash can where broken slabs would be found. I have not said that they were printing cert numbers. I said that WIWAG was using cards to submit to get good flips with real cert numbers.

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#309136 - 01/27/04 02:00 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Greg, what I was calling rumors and guestimates were the "facts" and figures that have been thrown about here up to and at the beginning of this thread. I'll say this much though: I think I'll have an easier time accepting things if it can indeed be proven that WIWAG was creating and sealing their own slabs than you will if it can be proven without a shadow of a doubt that they weren't. I will do this though: I'll go over to my email account right now and email Joe Orlando and ask him, point blank if they were sealing their own slabs. If he says yes they were, I'll gladly appologize. If he says no, will you believe him?

While I wait for a response from Joe, I do have a couple of other questions though:

QUESTION 1:
You wrote, referring to a quote by an investigator, "I could have kept the investigation open far longer to allow for more cards to be discovered but
felt that he had already gathered enough evidence to convict. It was a matter of did I want to nail these guys or did I want to REALLY nail these guys. I do not
get paid more if I REALLY nail them."; I asked if the scope of his investigation was solely at his discretion or did CU have a say in how extensive it should be? He
said, "I could have suggested to CU to keep it open for several more months but I had other cases to pursue and CU CERTAINLY did not want to prolong the
investigation."

"Who is "he" that you are referring to? Is it Joe Orlando? Did the investigators give any additional details regarding how CU tried to close the investigation?


QUESTION 2: You wrote, "Although it may not be public record, the financial data of WIWAG and John and Craig would have been available to those close to the
investigation, including CU."

Why would CU need to see these records? Why is this important? Even if it showed they made $20 million in fiscal 2001, it wouldn't show how much of that came from altered cards.


QUESTION 3: You wrote, "CU accepted the plea bargain by WIWAG. It was the surest way that this would be kept quiet and out of the public where it would have
possibly given CU a black eye."

Did the FBI and US Attorneys Office tell you that CU accepted the plea bargain by WIWAG?


QUESTION 4: You wrote, "I told him that the cards that I saw that were eventually bought back or exchanged by WIWAG, showed no evidence that the holder had been resealed which lead many to believe that WIWAG was in
possession of unused holders and in effect "counterfeiting". He then asked, "So would you feel less secure if WIWAG had somehow gotten a hold of unused holders?" I said yes. He then added, "Your intuition about your recent experiences with the PSA holders should give you piece of mind about what was happening. This way I am not telling you something that I should not." I thanked him for his time.

What are the details on the cards you saw (year, cert#, restitution, etc.)? Also, are you saying that the investigator could have found out more or exposed
the "counterfeited" holders if CU would have allowed him to continue the investigation?

_________________________
Apt reading.

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#309137 - 01/27/04 02:13 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: botn]
Jessica
Learning the Ropes


Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 14
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts

Offline
MY SOURCES HAVE TOLD ME THAT SEAN_C ONLY COLLECTS MODERN SHINY REFRACTOR CARDS IN RAW FORM. SO WHY DOES HE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT WIWAG? I'LL TELL YOU WHY~!

BECAUSE SEAN_C IS A MESSAGE BOARD TROLL!!!!!!


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#309138 - 01/27/04 02:46 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: Jessica]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Besides my refractor sets, I am also working on a 1957 Topps set, a 1953 Bowman Set (both with as many autographs as I can get) and a Baseball Hall of Fame Autographed Set. Thanks for pointing out my interest in refractor cards though, although since all of the above are in the PSA Set Registry (with the exception of the 53 Bowman set), I have a vested interest in WIWAG. Thank you for playing though...

BTW, this was my most recent purchase. It's a bit beat-up, but I'm happy with it:



You can see other cards in my collection here


Quote:

MY SOURCES HAVE TOLD ME THAT SEAN_C ONLY COLLECTS MODERN SHINY REFRACTOR CARDS IN RAW FORM. SO WHY DOES HE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT WIWAG? I'LL TELL YOU WHY~!

BECAUSE SEAN_C IS A MESSAGE BOARD TROLL!!!!!!






Edited by Sean_C (01/27/04 02:55 PM)
_________________________
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#309139 - 01/27/04 03:30 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: Jessica]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Quote:

I think I'll have an easier time accepting things if it can indeed be proven that WIWAG was creating and sealing their own slabs than you will if it can be proven without a shadow of a doubt that they weren't.


Sean, you keep forgetting that YOU are one of the thousands and thousands of CU's customers and shareholders who are being kept in the dark. I know what happened.

Quote:

I'll go over to my email account right now and email Joe Orlando and ask him, point blank if they were sealing their own slabs. If he says yes they were, I'll gladly appologize. If he says no, will you believe him?




Sean, you are kidding me, right? Why is Joe going to tell you something that he has been unwilling to tell the public? In his interview in SCD in Jan 2003 he said that more details would follow on this crime pending the outcome of the investigation. Funny that nobody at CU has made a public comment since. Joe (CU) is in a bad place. If he comes out and makes a statement about the "missing details" at this late in the game then CU risks major repercussions. He (CU) also cannot come out and downplay what took place since this would be place CU in a position where they could be challenged on their assertions and be at further risk of all types of litigation. So they have taken the position that it is better to be quiet and hope that it goes away. What other reason could exist if Joe (CU) has not commented? If this was some benign isolated event where the crooks were apprehended immediately and the damages were minimal wouldn't you think that a follow up giving some details would be appropriate? Why did CU not tell you what to look for in the fraudulently graded cards? Why were you not told the exact means of their distribution? Maybe these issues could not be addressed for some bizzare reason during the investigation but why has nobody commented now? CU has wagered that collectors will not do as I have done and made a demand for a full explanation. Why? Because collectors are fearful of what could happen to the value of their collections whould they get the truth. As for your second question, no I have no reason to believe Joe. Aside from what I have outlined above, I also have my reasons, which are well documented in e-mail communications with him over other matters.

Quote:

"Who is "he" that you are referring to? Is it Joe Orlando? Did the investigators give any additional details regarding how CU tried to close the investigation?


"He" is the investigator, Sean. I did not ask details about the close of the investigation. I did not write that CU tried to "close" it either. It was a mutual decision and the investigator cannot speak for CU so I did not ask. Why don't you add that to your e-mail to Joe?

Quote:

Why would CU need to see these records? Why is this important? Even if it showed they made $20 million in fiscal 2001, it wouldn't show how much of that came from altered cards.


It is called collecting evidence and can be used as cirumstantial evidence or trying to determine the scope of the crime based on trends.

Quote:

Did the FBI and US Attorneys Office tell you that CU accepted the plea bargain by WIWAG?


If they did not then this would still be going on, wouldn't it?

Quote:

What are the details on the cards you saw (year, cert#, restitution, etc.)? Also, are you saying that the investigator could have found out more or exposed
the "counterfeited" holders if CU would have allowed him to continue the investigation?



I was reporting facts from a conversation, Sean. I was not giving my editorial comments. I have faith that the investigation was done properly. The investigator sounded very capable. I was told by him, since it is part of the public record, and is consistent with what I was told early on, that empty, unsealed holders were found at the WIWAG office.

Before I answer another question or even acknowledge that you exist, I want you to answer my questions that I posed to you in my previous past about my agenda, etc. I think that I am entitled to that.

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#309140 - 01/27/04 04:51 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Ok, since you've asked, I think that your agenda is a pretty simple one: discredit PSA every chance you get. I don't know what exactly transpired in tht conversation between you and Joe, but ever since you were dropped by them as a PSA authorized dealer, you (and Mike) have taken every opportunity to bash them. If you want to bash them, be my guest. Just bash them over things that they have done, not things that can't be fully proven. Bash them for having crappy customer service. Bash them for the increase in mechanical errors and some of their business decisions (IE requiring yearly memberships to submit). Bash them over their poor handling of the WIWAG aftermath. Those are things that even PSA supporters will agree with you on. But when you were going around saying "people have told me this" and "people have told me that", and when you do nothing else but complain about "PSA sheep", you just come across as a bitter, petty, ex-dealer with an ax to grind.

As someone who has a similar agenda with BGS (except in their case, the only day that I'll be happy is when that company is out of business and Mark Harwell is begging for change on streetcorners in Dallas), I can certainly applaud you for sticking with something are passionate about. All I'm asking is that you keep things in perspective here.

In closing, I'd like to direct you to the following post . While I'm sure you remember it Greg, others may not, so I'd suggest anyone that reads this post check it out. I'd also like to direct you to page 3 of that thread. A little over half way down the page, next to the avatar of Riff-Raff, you might see someone familiar. I stand by my comments from that day Greg, and I still think what they did was wrong. But there are better ways to get your message out there man.

_________________________
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#309141 - 01/27/04 05:57 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Sean, once again you do not have the facts.

1) As of responding to your post at 5:32 PM PST on January 27, 2004 I am still a PSA Authorized Dealer. My numerous requests to be removed as such have been ignored. As recent as January 19, 2004 in my last e-mail to Joe Orlando where I addressed his childish post on the CU Forum in which he refers to me, I again stated my resignation and request to be removed from PSA site. For the record I am not an "ex-dealer" and have not been "dropped by them". Feel free to look me up. BOTTOM OF THE NINTH out of CA.

2) What conversation are you referring to? Joe and I have not had a conversation in well over a year. We have exchanged numerous pointless e-mails though. If you are referring to a conversation that was supposed to occur so that I could be reinstated on the CU forum, I told numerous people that the conversation was not going to occur as Joe and I did not see eye to eye and it was his message boards and I respected his decision to prefer that I not post there is I was going to be critical of PSA. BKAH and others posted, at my request, that the conversation was not going to happen.

My beef with PSA has nothing to do with being banned from their boards, if that is what you think that this is about. You do not know me if you think that I am that petty. My being banned from the boards was as a result of my justified increasing criticisms of PSA, although, at the time Charile Kahler told me that Joe banned me because he felt that I had an “agenda”.

I am far from bitter Sean. Frustrated by things that I see in the hobby but not bitter. In life Sean, one may come across a $15 street walker. Then there are some of us who are not willing to sell ourselves at any price. I am not perfect but I do have some ethics. I am not always right but I do feel that it is my responsibility as a dealer and a collector to speak out and raise issues. When I feel strongly about an issue I am going to make sure that I am heard. I have come out publicly and apologized when I have said something that may have been inappropriate. I would do it again if a situation warranted. The way that the WIWAG scandal was handled will not be one of those instances.

You also mentioned that I complain about the “PSA sheep” but despite some of you, feel that you all deserve better than to be tossed aside given the amount of money that you have invested in PSA holders. My rants are about those of you who prefer not to try to identify issues, as Jim Crandell has been willing to do (and be ignored I might add), and therefore allow WIWAG type of cover-ups to exist and thrive.

So now that you have these facts, can you please tell me what my agenda might be? What is it that I am trying to gain that is directly going to benefit me in any way? Your arguments are weak because they are not based on facts. For someone who is grilling me about my criticisms of CU, which is based on factual information, you seem to be ok with a double standard that permits you to draw conclusions based on misinformation.



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#309142 - 01/27/04 06:28 PM One thought here... [Re: botn]
buttermarc
Collector


Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 79
Loc: NYC

Offline
The vast majority of evidence/problematic WIWAG holders that I was aware of at the time the problem came to light was with modern cards - specifically those that were hawked on places like thepit.com, etc. Though there certainly was a handful of noted incidents of vintage cards being tampered with -- at the time this went one, it seems as if it was primarly unsuspecting modern-card collectors and broker/dealers of things like huge counts of Griffey rookies in 9s, etc. where the situation seemed to break down. Now, I'm not trying to be callous here -- but I have not seen any overwhelming evidence that vintage common or star cards were routinely tampered with. Since thepit.com essentially handled slabs like commodities -- it almost seems to follow (to me at least) that it was much easier to sell a tampered slab through their enterprise.

Whether or not you think PSA has handled the WIWAG situation well (I think most agree that they have not), I am sort of left with this as a bottom line: I, and most of the collectors I speak to and deal with, are fairly educated collectors, and have not suffered egregiously because of the WIWAG scandal. We continue to buy graded cards (not just PSA), for our personal collections and plan on continuing to do so. What are the remaining problems that make everything so perilous to us as educated collectors? I know not.
_________________________
"It is not the critic who counts..."

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#309143 - 01/27/04 06:57 PM Re: One thought here... [Re: buttermarc]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Thepit.com was also not one of the names mentioned as a means of distribution. WIWAG had their own ebay auctions, sales from their website, Grade and Trade and there is some affiliation with WIWAG and ebay user, cardmrchnt@aol.com (Poway Cards). Many of the cards that were sold by through these conduits were vintage issues. I have no idea as to what the distribution was of modern to vintage issues that were affected. I just know that based on this information you would be wrong to conclude that it was mainly modern issues that were impacted.

Quote:

Whether or not you think PSA has handled the WIWAG situation well (I think most agree that they have not), I am sort of left with this as a bottom line: I, and most of the collectors I speak to and deal with, are fairly educated collectors, and have not suffered egregiously because of the WIWAG scandal.


Exactly. And the reason why is that you do not know the extent of the problem. If you had cancer are you telling me that as long as you do not know about it then it cannot or will not hurt you?

For sake of argument if you knew for a fact that there were say 50,000 cards involved over the approximately 2 year period and that of those 50,000 cards there were 15,000 were $500 and up, vintage cards in fraudulent holders that made their way into the hobby and maybe it was not possible to identify these cards by abnormalities on the holders, would you still feel that you have not be harmed in any way? Would having that knowledge alter what you bought, how you bought or even how you look at your collection that may contain problem cards? What about the guys who are not as educated as you? Have they been injured if they cannot identify suspicious cards?

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#309144 - 01/27/04 08:58 PM Re: One thought here... [Re: botn]
buttermarc
Collector


Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 79
Loc: NYC

Offline
Quote:

For sake of argument if you knew for a fact that there were say 50,000 cards involved over the approximately 2 year period and that of those 50,000 cards there were 15,000 were $500 and up, vintage cards in fraudulent holders that made their way into the hobby and maybe it was not possible to identify these cards by abnormalities on the holders, would you still feel that you have not be harmed in any way? Would having that knowledge alter what you bought, how you bought or even how you look at your collection that may contain problem cards? What about the guys who are not as educated as you? Have they been injured if they cannot identify suspicious cards?





Greg:

Here's the thing, though -- you can speculate all you want -- but at the end of the day, I'm sort of left with a gut feeling/conventional wisdom. I'm personally not that concerned with modern cards -- precisely because I don't collect the types of modern cards that were often sold by gradeandtrade and on thepit.com

I know a lot of hobbyists -- and you obviously know quite a few more, Greg. The dozen or so that I would say I communicate on a consistent basis -- I have not heard any definitive allegations of any significant problem with their collections, despite representing tens of thousands of PSA cards. If there truly were 15,000 vintage cards worth $500 or more that were funked, I think that I would have heard more from these people or others. In total, I heard of about 13 specific cards that seemed problematic. I can trace at least two PSA 8 1955 Bowman cards that I have purchased from WIWAG during the relevant time period that show neither the apperances of adulteration nore of switching.

You're basically throwing out a situation that would involve $7.5 MILLION of vintage funked cards. I think with volumes like that, I would have heard about that. Heck - $7.5 million of vintage cards? I've talked to a lot of dealers who do a lot of volume, but that seems to be a number that just feels obscenely wrong to me. Perhaps I haven't spoken to the right people. I do know some people that received refunds -- but I have never heard of a single person that returned more than two vintage cards (and neither over $150) that were possibly tainted by WIWAG. Maybe these people are out there. I don't know -- if there are, I think I would have heard about it more since then.

Again -- I totally agree that the WIWAG thing was bad. I furthermore agree that PSA did not handle the situation well. However, with the absence of officially released data as to how many were affected and how many were redeemed, I'm simply not convinced that the extent of the vintage infiltration was significant. I, and quite a few others, can trace every Ebay transaction, with names, dates, PSA serial numbers, etc. for the past four years. Were the situation as bad as you describe, I think many of us would have run into more problems over the period of WIWAG's bad behaviour.
_________________________
"It is not the critic who counts..."

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#309145 - 01/27/04 09:39 PM Re: One thought here... [Re: buttermarc]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Marc,

My numbers were hypothetical. Was just trying to get a feeling from you at what point this would impact you. And everyone has their own threshold for being affected depending on the value of their collections and their abilities to actually assess the grade of a holdered card an/or identify an altered card in a holder.

I was involved in having 3 vintage cards that were either bought back or replaced. None was less than a $1000 card. There was a fourth card (pre war) which was purchased from cardmrchnt@aol.com on ebay and I attempted to cross the card to the same grade and SGC and GAI rejected it for trimming. The card was reviewed by PSA and they insist that it is good and would not buy it back. It has since traded hands 3 times and has appeared on ebay a couple times.

I think you would also agree despite your feeling that you and the collectors who you are close to have not been harmed in any way by WIWAG or the way in which CU has handed this, that does not mean everyone is in the same boat. For sake of argument lets just say my 3 cards were the only 3 vintage cards that were messed with. Where does that leave the guys who collect modern issues? Again, my "crusade" is not done because of how this has impacted on my business or personal collection but how it has impacted other people, many of which I do not even know.

If this were some minor event it would seem to me that CU should have followed up to say "Nothing to worry about, guys." Again, Joe was quoted as saying, “I can’t comment on too many specific details until further notice because it’s still under investigation.." Well Joe, speak. No news is certainly not good news. To allow CU off the hook that easily seems ridiculous. You would think since this crime had such a great ending that CU would get out there and let everyone know.

I can only remember the conversation I had with someone who is not at CU any longer. The conversation took place in the middle of 2003, when he was still employed. He said at first he really thought PSA was finished as a result of WIWAG but he now felt confident this matter would go away quietly and told me not to worry. I never asked what he meant.

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#309146 - 01/28/04 04:32 AM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: Sean_C]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

Offline
Sean --

One last comment ...

Quote:

The second check was designed so that people couldn't "kidnap" or "hold hostage" #'s in the registry.




I didn't realize that set building was such a cutthroat endeavor, in the PSA world, that kidnapping or holding serial numbers hostage would even be an issue.

My mistake. I stand corrected.

Two thumbs up for the non-competitive nature of the SGC Registry!!


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#309147 - 01/28/04 07:56 AM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: deadlyembrace]
KLL
Hobbyist


Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 62

Offline
Greg


I have been following this thread for a while and must tip my hat to you for your efforts. Near as I can tell, from the little that I know about what occurred with WIGWAG/PSA, you most definitely have the greatest knowledge regarding this matter. But when do you stop this apparent never-ending editorial trip that you are on. You keep beating the same drum over and over again. Your point has been made. In fact, your contributions, insights and opinions are far more informative then any others that have been expressed over the past year. But this same point and a few variations of it have been made 100’s of times by you. This has gone beyond the “I want to fix/better the hobby”.

I am not sure where your motivation for continuing these efforts comes from. You have admitted that you have alienated yourself from many collectors/potential customers. So why continue? Some people just have that need for pushing the envelope, which you certainly do. Maybe you see your efforts as being a sure fire road to card heaven, some type of martyrdom. I don’t know.

What I do know is that you have a lot to offer this board. I fear that you will soon suffer the same fate here as you did on the CU board. You seem to have great difficulty in controlling yourself and this uncontrollable need to keep pushing the envelope will lead to your ultimate demise on another collector’s forum. And my gut feeling is you are getting very close to that end.

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#309148 - 01/28/04 09:58 AM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: KLL]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

Offline
I agree that the PSA registry set collectors do go overboard with the competition aspect of building their sets...they even have awards like "rookie of the year", "set of the year" which is ridiculous imo.

however, if it brings enjoyment for these guys so let it be. It may alienate some set collectors who collect mid-low grade sets only. In addition, I do think some of these set collectors would like any PSA 8 or PSA 9 graded card irregardless of the card's condition...it is the slab and label that some of these folks care about.

I know I have said this before, but I think mixed grade sets can be actually stronger sets in the sense that the collector will be "open-minded" enough to buy the most accurately mint or near-mint, mint card irregardless of holder, resulting in a sharper looking set, card wise, not label wise.
_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309149 - 02/04/04 03:08 PM "I Am A Dreamer" A Short Story By Dan Markel [Re: grilloj39]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
I see that Dan Markel (one of Joe's 1%ers) is flapping his lips again on the WIWAG topic. Was wondering...when someone is so delusional that he actually believes the things that he says and writes can he still be called a liar? It was however refreshing to finally see Dan address this issue without having to change the topic and create other distractions. Here is what was written by a certain clueless individual on the CU forum.

Saturday January 31, 2004 3:35 PM (NEW!)

sixdart -- My advice at this moment is to completely ignore that SGC Thread. It is infested with an over-abundant amount of ignorance and misinformation, written by people like Matthew Natalie (VaYank) and Greg Schwartz (BOTN) plus one or two others.I live in the Houston area and it's Super Bowl weekend and I've got a lot of other things going on. Early this coming week I'll send you a report with my findings plus some provide obvious reasons why some of the things written on that SGC thread are laughable and easy to verify as being false. I can also send this report to any other non-anonymous CU member that doesn't have an anti-PSA agenda. Please send me a PM if interested.Davalillo wrote:Their (sp) is a long recent thread on the SGC boards where Greg goes into considerable detail on the results of some conversations he has had.It's no surprise to me that BOTN refused to reveal his sources of those conversations. No credible or competent law enforcement officer would have made those quotes given by BOTN. In fact, it only confirmed what I expected all along: BOTN doesn't even understand what the WIWAG incident was about and also knows very little about criminal law. It also proved how desperate he is to make CU/PSA look bad.


Dan, in an effort to quash factual statements that I have reported, is going to write a report on the WIWAG scandal. Again, is it appropriate for this small time collector to appoint himself to do a job that should be done by someone like Joe "Whack Jobs" Orlando? Dan Markel is as qualified to speak on this matter as he is capable of giving birth. Orlando has been very quick to take time out of his day to address and insult members over the mayhem that occurs due to issues raised such as the half point system allegation, claims made about dealers who are thought to be "card doctors" and of course to put out fires caused by thoughtless statements he himself has made. He was quoted as having said that he would issue more information on the WIWAG scandal at the conclusion of the investigation. We, except for Dan Markel, are all still waiting.

Dan Markel will be reporting information that will be flavored by his bias and tainted by his lack of objectivity. Dan Markel has a vested interest in twisting all of the information that I have posted due to his "investment" in PSA graded cards. In a desperate attempt to continue to try to convince others to live in his fantasy world, he has also tried to discredit the good name of the investigator who handled the WIWAG with whom I spoke. This is also the investigator who handled Operation Bullpen and has far more credibility than the self-serving Dan Markel. Dan should use better judgment, if possible, when posting on a public forum. I am certain that the investigator whose name he has now smeared would not be pleased.

What I find most interesting is to watch how Dan continues to assist CU in a cover up while the very President of that company continues to show no respect for Dan nor other members of the card collecting community.

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#309150 - 02/04/04 04:55 PM Re: "I Am A Dreamer" A Short Story By Dan Markel [Re: botn]
Sean_C
Hobbyist


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 54

Offline
Hey Greg, where is WIWAG's sealing machine? We can argue all day long about the "opened cases", but in the FBI's raid they never did discover any sort of sealing machine. You can't slab your own cards without someway to seal them. Where did it go?
_________________________
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#309151 - 02/04/04 05:31 PM Re: "I Am A Dreamer" A Short Story By Dan Markel [Re: Sean_C]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
I am not sure why I even answer your questions other than for the entertainment factor. Sean, have you read the official releases by CU and the the US Attorney's Office? The defendants admitted to committing fraud. From those statements [b ] In connection with their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted that they would sometimes remove cards that had been graded as 10 or 9 from the slab and replace them with lower quality cards.

So Sean, please tell me how WIWAG would sell cards in PSA holders in which they admittedly switched the properly graded cards with lower graded cards without drawing immediate suspicion, if the holders were not resealed?

First we must establish that you actually believe that the crime has occurred. Not even Joe Orlando is claiming that the crime did not occur. Next we have to assume that you would agree that the holders, which were the subject of the crime, were in fact resealed to prevent buyers from immediately identifying a problem as the cards would have just fallen out.

A sealing machine was found and confiscated by CU. As I stated Sean, there are many things in this case that are not and probably will never be made available to the public. Regardless, I am not so sure why it would surprise you if the defendants had a sealing machine. They are not that expensive and can be purchased by anyone. These are not nuclear warheads that we are talking about. I think that you should ask Orlando in an e-mail what happened to the sealing machine that they got from WIWAG on a Thursday afternoon last August.

Next question, please. Still waiting for you to readdress what my agenda is. The last time that you were so kind to grace us with your presence you made statements that were not at all factual and when I pointed this put, you disappeared. So when you get a minute, please elaborate for everyone as to what my specific agenda is. Don't feel bad Orlando himself was not able to answer the question either.

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#309152 - 02/05/04 06:42 AM we may never know the real story [Re: botn]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

Offline
I've resisted jumping into this one, but here goes.

I'm pretty sure that we will never know to exact details of WIWAG's scam. I think we can infer a good amount by what has been released publicly and by what has not been released.

I think it is obvious that WIWAG had some sort of sealing device. Otherwise, as Greg stated, the slabs would simply pop open. If they were gluing the slabs back together, I would think this would be extremely obvious. I know that there was a member of this board that had a card replaced (or got a refund, I can't remember which) -- it would be nice if he could comment on exactly what he saw on the holder.

It seems to be an accepted fact that unsealed holders were found at WIWAG.

Joe O. has chosen not to address many of the issues associated with the scandal. At first, it was because the investigation was on-going...and I can understand this. The investigation is now over and PSA has not made any further comment despite numerous requests on the CU board. He obviously has reasons for this...which could vary from simply believing that ignoring the situation will make it go away to being concerned that releasing all of the information would cause significant damage to his business. Different people have significantly different opinions on this subject. My personal opinion is that the truth probably lies somewhere between these 2 possibilities.

Based on what I've learned on the various message boards, I believe that WIWAG was cracking out cards, and resealing an inferior card and the real PSA flip (from the old card) in a virgin holder. This is a scenario that seems likely to me.

Personally, I would think that this MO would somewhat limit the number of bogus cards in circulation...at least more so than if they were counterfeiting the flips. I have not seen or heard anything to suggest that counterfeit flips were part of the operation.

These are only my opinions based on what I have observed. They may be right, they may be wrong. Again, I don't think we will ever know the real story.

OK, I'm done

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#309153 - 02/05/04 04:10 PM Re: we may never know the real story [Re: srs1a]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Hey Sean,

Sounds fairly reasonable to me. Orlando certainly has time to address every issue that he calls rumors, such as the implementation of a half point system, altered cards in PSA holders and now most recently the Dmitri Young. Yet he will not address the WIWAG scandal. Most of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is not completely truthful. He knows that if he does his usual that he could be called out.

Only guys like Dude (Dan Markel), Acowa (Alan Cowart) and Wolfbear are foolish enough to let Orlando get away with this.

Greg

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#309154 - 02/06/04 10:28 AM Re: we may never know the real story [Re: botn]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

Offline
Greg,

I don't know if you have been following what has been going on in the PSA message boards but I have been trying to bring up issues and Toppsgun starts his attacks, people begin posting under different identities and the "hate Davalillo" crowd chimes in. This time Joe Orlando even jumped in with a couple hilarious statements.

First, I think he accused me of trying to hijack the PSA Message Boards with a small band of followers and threw a few other gratuitous insults at me. Have you ever seen a business where the president insults one of the largest owners of its product????

Secondly, despite specific evidence to the contrary he continues to insist that Dmitri Young is not crossing over his high end cards to GAI. Also he is in denial that the vast majority of his new submissions are going to GAI

Thirdly, despite my bringing it up, he completely ignores the WIWAG questions and the issue of losing experienced graders and the issue of one grader looking at a card before it is slabbed.

Fourthly,

he belittles the participants on the message boards and says in effect do you really think we would listen to people who account for 1% of our customer base.

Fifth, despite evidence that he plans to once again bring up half-grades at the Las Vegas Summit, he seems to deny that it is under consideration.

Sixth, he continues to let people like Toppsgun post on the board and other posters who I think are trolls who do nothing else but attack the messenger.

And then he wonders why I don't call him.

I analyze companies for a living and I have never seen one like this.

Jim(Davalillo)

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#309155 - 02/06/04 10:41 AM Re: Dmitri who??? [Re: Davalillo1]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

Offline
davillo1 or botn or whomever --

Quote:

Secondly, despite specific evidence to the contrary he continues to insist that Dmitri Young is not crossing over his high end cards to GAI. Also he is in denial that the vast majority of his new submissions are going to GAI





Please elaborate on Dmitri Young, his collection and his crossing high-end cards from PSA to GAI. I'm not familiar with the issue.



Thanks in advance.


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#309156 - 02/06/04 12:51 PM Re: Dmitri who??? [Re: deadlyembrace]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline


Dimitri Young, Major League Baseball player, is a collector of high-end graded baseball cards. Apparently most of his collection resides in PSA holders and some GAI. His "baseball card buying agent" surfaced on the CU Message Board in the last few days, per the request of Dimitri, to elaborate his collecting habits and squelch the rumor that he is going to cross-over his entire collection to GAI.

The "buying agent' posted in all caps, with mis-spelled words and poor grammar. He was attacked (understandable...to a degree...given what I read) due to the presentation of his posts and was later "legitimized" as being who he said he was by other forum members that have dealt with him. The "agent" also stated that Dimitri will by vintage mid 80s and earlier vending and rack/cello product.

It would be nice to see his story published by one of the leading trade magazines and get a glimpse into his collection, interest and insight.

There was a remark by the "agent" that stated something to the effect that SGC and Beckett's services along with Pro would not be part of his collection. Folks on the CU forum were quick to point out that SGC shouldn't be part of that list and Pro was on another plateau.

In reading the "agents" post, I found the gentleman to not portray himself very well with his grammar/spelling and then seemed ignorant with some of his comments. I'd imagine he is who he says he is, but found it rather odd.

By the look's of Dimitri's conditioning, he may be spending a bit too much time looking for baseball cards inside the boxes of Ding Dongs and Twinkies... Sorry, couldn't resist
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309157 - 02/06/04 01:09 PM Re: we may never know the real story [Re: Davalillo1]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Hi Jim,

I have been following the CU boards. I find it unbelievable that Joe "Whack Jobs" Orlando allows others to attack you relentlessly but that is not even a close second to the snide comments that “Whack Jobs" makes to and about you. His grading room is not the only second rate aspect of CU's business. I was not sure if CU could be disgraced any further but Orlando has certainly proved otherwise. There is no way, no matter how hard you pushed, that Sean Skeffington or Steve Rocchi would ever treat you with that kind of disrespect.

I know as well, from Baker and Rocchi that, Dmitri has crossed cards over and will be doing far more business with GAI.

I know that Orlando is not going to comment on the WIWAG scandal. If his lips are moving on this subject then he will most likely be telling a lie.

I also know that CU has been considering the half point system for a while and are waiting for the "right" time to drop that bomb.

Orlando is most likely fighting for his job (and his license plates PSA PREZ) as PSA loses market share to other qualified grading companies. CU is a business and as such they will do what is in their best interest without regard for the impact on the collectors. Raising prices, forcing the membership to submit, half point system implemented after 10 years and 6 million cards and last but certainly not least, the WIWAG conspiracy. CU's (PSA's) motto should be BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME TODAY?

Jim, all due respect, but you exemplify part of the problem. Despite Orlando’s complete and total disrespect for you AND knowing what you know as identified in your post above, you continue to send them cards and support their business. I understand that you are 20,800+ holders and several million into them but you protest but then acquiesce.

Not trying to pat myself on the back but if you want to make an impact you will have to make sacrifices. For me the benefits derived have far out weighed the sacrifices made.

Best,
Greg

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#309158 - 02/06/04 01:17 PM Not a big deal but... [Re: estang]
aconte
Bid more or post more... tough one...


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1896
Loc: On The Beach....where else!

Offline
on one post from Joe O:

Quote:

95-Plus percent of Dmitri's collection is PSA graded even though he does, once in a while, buy other graded cards to fill holes in his collection.





another post by D. Young's buyer:

Quote:

i did neglect to say he has broke out some cards and gave them to gai but not his whole collection which is what i thought was the question here




Not that I care...

Jim,

Don't know how you allow yourself to get the treatment you do at times.
Many will say that everyone should be treated the same. I say that is
true to a point. But a guy with 20,000 Psa slabs should get a little more
respect that a guy with 20. I'm not saying favorable grades .

I also see more people bailing out of some of the 60's sets each year.
The turnover seems to be great. That is for the Psa registry and the top
spots. This might help you get closer to completing some of the easier
sets from the 60's in all 8's. But I doubt it will ever help you quiet 'toppsgun.'


One comment I disagree with you is the pricing for the Psa brand being
the strongest. This general statement is not 100% accurate. There are many
examples of other cards doing just as well if not better in other holders.
No doubt your collection is incredible. But I wonder how some of your
cards would do if sold in the current slab/cert#. I would also bet if you
could raise some of those nice 8's to 8.5's who knows....

Good luck across the street. The reading of several posts has been
weird....

aconte
_________________________

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#309159 - 02/06/04 01:18 PM Re: A correction and some questions [Re: deadlyembrace]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
I wanted to chime in on a couple points and perceptions on the WIGWAG scandal just from what I've read on this and CU forum:

1. PSA/CU has done a poor public relations job handling the illegal activity. Having the president of the company make his statements on the CU message board is beyond belief. He comes across very defensive on the issue and then when the subject of half point grading comes up, he tells the very forum on the WIGWAG scandal about how insiginficant the population of the forum is to make such a decision.

Well if the forum is so small and insignificant in the big picture of their customer base, why in the heck does he even use it to post and expound on such critical company issues ???

2. Lack of any objective sports memorabilia industry reports on the subject or ANY industry related topic, hurts the situation and the hobby overall. I don't truly know BOTN from Dan Markel from BMW; only have a basic understanding of a small portion of their view points. Unfortunately, no matter how good the detective report they or anyone puts together, it will probably not receive wide acceptance; unless it is backed by PSA, the prosecuting team and the defendants. That shouldn't stop anyone from doing it, but getting it certified by all involved, would legitimize the situation. Perhaps BOTN is on that path. Hope so.

3. It is not surprising that people within a hobby of rampant fake autographs would do something like this.

4. For the heckuva it, I tried to crack a PSA case and it doesn't seem like it would be real easy to do it consistently and then re-seal the same case and sell it.

So is the widespread fact that WIGWAG had unused PSA cases and a sealing machine?

If so, how did they get them?

a) stole them in transit or from PSA property
b) contacted the supplier and falsified who they were to ship them some
c) found another supplier to create a knock-off case

That's a question I'd like to know the answer to.

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309160 - 02/06/04 03:22 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: aconte]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

Offline
Dav >

I have to agree with Aconte and BOTN. I completely understand that is not realistic to suggest you cross tens of thousands of cards, just for the cost alone, but I do think Aconte and BOTN have points you should give serious consideration.


Edited by vayank (02/06/04 03:26 PM)
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309161 - 02/06/04 06:40 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: vayank]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

Offline
Jim...I would recommend you hold onto your PSA graded cards....for now. If the day comes with PSA no longer commands premium prices for its graded cards (and that day may come soon), you can always consider crossing over your collection then.

However, I would strongly recommend any new raw, vintage cards be sent for grading elsewhere. Both SGC and GAI are more consistent and accurate in their grading and it is only a matter of time before the collecting public takes notice.

_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309162 - 02/06/04 07:02 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: grilloj39]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

Offline
i put PSA in the same catagory as the catholic church! no matter how much garbage becomes public or how much dirt is swept under the carpet you still get 1000's through the doors!
_________________________
Ken Griffey Jr

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#309163 - 02/06/04 09:04 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: jackstraw]
KLL
Hobbyist


Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 62

Offline
Dav

Just my opinion. I would think that SGC would cross your whole collection and my guy feeling tells me that they would do it for next to nothing if not nothing.

I don't know about Young's collection, but I was told by a very big west coast dealer that GAI has done this with a couple of high profile sets/collection. Moved the cards into GAI holders from PSA holders for ZERO dollars. I would bet that they did the same with Young's collection (I would have thought he would have moved them to SGC holders- I've got to think that he is going to take a bath on the move to a GAI holder from the PSA holder).

I would think that Sean would love nothing more than to drop 20,000+ PSA flips in Joe Orlado's lap and to let the world know it.

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#309164 - 02/07/04 05:49 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: KLL]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

Offline
KLL,

I don't know Sean and I'm not exactly invisible in the hobby. Surprised he has never contacted me. I have to believe that switching over 20,000 cards(99 percent pre 1970) from psa would have significant repurcussions beyond just my collection.

Grillo,

I have to agree on your comments about both GAI and SGC being more accurate graders--my two concerns are my 150 or so graded sets that I am working on that I do not want to see mixed and resale value.

Tony,

Turnover has been big on the 60s sets--good point. I wait until there is a seller in many cases and just jump in. Certainly none of them with possible exception of 1962 are truly difficult in psa 8 or better.
You are right about the 8.5 issue I think--

Greg,

I admire what you are doing and have said so privately and publicly but I will do things my way.

Jim(Davalillo)


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#309165 - 02/07/04 06:12 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: Davalillo1]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Dav,

I'm surprised that you're surprised that Sean or someone at SGC would reach out to you about crossing your collection over. That is not good business practice for them to do. They've got a web site and toll-free lines just waiting for your call.

Pick up the phone and take the initiative. At least see what they have to say.

I'd be surprised that SGC or more mature graded card company would do the cross-over for free or at any substantial operating loss (perhaps a minimal one). I would think from opening the package, to sorting, to examination, to breaking cases, to sorting the ones that don't cross, to inputting data and creating labels, to re-holdering, to packing and shipment it would take a good deal of time.

At 20,800 cards, lets run three scenarios of how much time it would take a company to perform this service. Let's also assume including 10 days for holidays that there's 250 business days in a year:

15 minutes per card or 5200 man hours or just over 216 days or 86.4% emp. time
10 minutes per card or 3467 man hours or just over 144 days or 57.7% emp. time
5 minutes per card or 1733 man hours or just over 72 days or 28.8% employee time

For someone to take this on, they'd have to look at it as an investment into other collectors moving their new and cross business to them. You'd look to build some advertising or PR campaigns budget over something like this. I wouldn't think you'd do it with zero publicity or fan-fare.

Pick up the phone and call SGC, see what they have to say. Once again, I wouldn't expect them or anyone with good business sense to be approaching you or another collector to do such a thing. Especially since you are so visible on the CU board. Could you refrain from telling the world that SGC or another company called you to inquire about crossing over?? Based upon the tone of the boards there at times, I wouldn't make that bet. Therefore, pick up the phone and see what they have to say!

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309166 - 02/07/04 06:37 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: estang]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

Offline
Erik,

I'm surprised that you're surprised that I'm surprised. Doesn't Pepsi approach Coke's biggest fountain customers? doesn't Halliburton approach Schlumberger's largest customers? So what if Joe Orlando knows that Sean approached me???

I agree--this would not be a one-off deal for another company. They should promote it with considerable fanfare. Take out advertising in scd, becketts and the smr(ha!) to try to promote other crossovers and new submissions.

Jim

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#309167 - 02/07/04 07:27 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: Davalillo1]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Jim,

You make a good counter-point to my point about SGC or antoher company approaching you instead of you contacting them. Although big business analogies like you made and especially the IT industry cross my mind, I don't correlate as strongly as you do with PSA to SGC, PSA to GAI, PSA to BVG or vice-versa.

I think the difference is that these "big business" analogies are usually involving a company contacting another company that is either distributing their product/service (Sony to Best Buy or Nabisco to Target/Wall-Mart) or a company contacting a company to use its product/service over a competitor (UPS vs. FedEx going to Wall-Mart for shipping or IBM vs. Dell to Nabisco for IT products/services).

We're talking about a company contacting a private individual to use it product services in an industry where the majority of the companies are privately held and is a niche industry. Sure I get calls from insurance companies for me to switch from them to another or from the gas company. But I think the circumstances and market is different with graded cards.

That said, are you going to make the inquiry to SGC or not? I'm sure Sean, SGC Moderator or someone reads this stuff quickly. I'd just venture to guess that they won't contact you based upon my perceived sense of business tactics and values that they employ; its just not their style.

Make the call, everyone would be interested. Aren't you? Or are you really emotionally tied to PSA and just waiting for their leadership to change.

Wouldn't you like to see your mug in hobby publications and highlight your collection in this manner? Perhaps this is the way to instigate the type of changes that you seek in PSA and the hobby.
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309168 - 02/07/04 07:57 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: estang]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

Offline
the chances of sgc doing any type of marketing is slim and none! the chances of jim crossing his collection to sgc is slim and none! the chances of jim being here if gai had a message board are slim and none! if jim chooses to cross over his collection and his future submissions will go to gai and not stay home in his home state? jim lives in new jersey and sgc is in new jersey so tack on another liability when it comes to taxes.i cant imagine that sgc doesn't charge sales tax to same state residents?
_________________________
Ken Griffey Jr

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#309169 - 02/07/04 08:30 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: jackstraw]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

Offline
Well said Bouffard -- on all counts. IMHO, Dav uses these boards just to stir up the pot across the street. I do not believe he has any interest in SGC -- and uses this board for his own purposes.

Dav, the only thing stranger that the way Joe O. conducts business via the CU board is your addiction to PSA slabs. If you are that unhappy, vote with your feet...or adress the issue head-on with a phone call -- don't come over here and whine about your issues with PSA.




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#309170 - 02/07/04 11:10 AM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: srs1a]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

Offline
Bouffard and SRS,

Not that clear.I have not yet seriously thought about crossing over part or all of collection to GAI or PSA.

I think highly of the new SGC. I also think highly of GAI. I had been hopeful that by raising issues that PSA would become a better company. That does not seem likely with the current president but perhaps recent dealer buzz that he is on thin ice is correct.

Its a big decision for me to cross over--one that I do not take lightly. I like the registry and would like to fulfill my goal of over 100 complete vintage sets in psa 8 or better....but there are counterarguments too.

Jim(Davalillo)

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#309171 - 02/07/04 12:50 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: Davalillo1]
KLL
Hobbyist


Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 62

Offline
Well maybe SGC should be a little more aggressive regarding the possible cross over of Dav's important card collection. I think it would be smart business for them to cross over the collection at no cost.

It is my opinion that SGC has has blown numerous market chances over the years. I will beat this drum again. Very few major high-end vintage dealers are in the SGC family of dealers. The market they have missed is the 1950's-1960's NM and better market. This is a great chance with this collection to correct that mistake. A high profile collector upset with his treatment by the industry leader and a high profile collection finding a better home with the best grading firm. A match made in heaven.

This would be great for SGC, all the buyers of SGC cards and would create a need for dealers to supply those cards to these collectors. It is very obvious that one company, GAI, has used this model to create demand for their product. GAI has a handful of significant collections to point to. What does SGC have? I still believe that the innovative ideas that GAI has brought to the market place (Packs/auto/cards), they will soon replace SGC as the #2 source for vintage items.

If I were SGC, I would reach out to Dav in a hurry!

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#309172 - 02/07/04 01:09 PM Re: Not a big deal but... [Re: KLL]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

Offline
you said it best. the chances of sgc actually going after jim's collection slim and none!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i also think there is plenty of time to grab a share of the late 80's to present day stuff. i am sure there will be a few collectors trying to complete a lebron james rookie card collection in sgc holders.the over under on the amount of different lebron rookies right now is 2049.
_________________________
Ken Griffey Jr

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#309173 - 02/07/04 05:47 PM Answer the question Dav! [Re: jackstraw]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Are you going to contact SGC or not?? I hold firm that it is bad practice and likely will not occur if your waiting for the call.

I'm beginning to think like Bouffard stated, you're here for an outlet to the PSA board and will use what occurs here to your benefit back there.

At least answer the question. Don't be so evasive.

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309174 - 02/07/04 06:44 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: estang]
Basilone
If I just sell the car, I can up my bid...


Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 166

Offline

Let Jim make his own decision...why do people insist that he provides an answer now.....is it really any of our business anyways?

If he calls SGC fine or not fine as far as Im concerned...its his cards...its his money.

Just my opinion.

John

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#309175 - 02/07/04 07:01 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: Basilone]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Insistent, no. Persistent, yes. I've been reluctant to make the comment, but I think it strikes me as arrogant to think that SGC or another company in this industry should reach out to him to make some type of deal.

SGC would be better served getting dealers to submit to them, as opposed to end collectors.

Well I guess it's OK not to answer my direct questions. Anyway, I've changed my post and lightened up. You'll find me and Denny Green on the high road...





Edited by estang (02/07/04 07:17 PM)
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309176 - 02/07/04 07:05 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: estang]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

Offline
Jim >

Cross over or not, you're welcome on this Board.
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#309177 - 02/07/04 07:41 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: grilloj39]
GoSoxBoSox
Just got here


Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 3

Offline
Okay Jim,

I'm finally sick og the moronic banter from the uninformed. I guess I may need to join you nice boys over here.

Tom Papa

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#309178 - 02/07/04 07:46 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: vayank]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

Offline
This board is head and shoulders above the PSA board IMO, however, now we're lowering ourselves to some of the posts made across the street. What business it is of ours to demand immediate answers on someone's grading company of choice. As I recall, they are HIS cards and no one else's.


_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#309179 - 02/07/04 08:07 PM Re: PSA and IBS [Re: grilloj39]
GoSoxBoSox
Just got here


Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 3

Offline
Okay Jim,

I finally sick og the moronic banter from the uninformed. I guess I may need to join you nice boys over here.

Tom Papa

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#309180 - 02/07/04 08:32 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: grilloj39]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

Offline
Orlando just ends up looking less credible when he tries to silence people who are asking questions. Jim is an asset to the hobby given his passion for collecting. His investment in PSA holders warrants his asking the questions that he has posed.

I made an error when I gave Dan Markel credit for being a bright guy. He made a post today in which he clearly displays that he is nothing more than a common dullard and a hobby outsider. In that post he claims that I have provided information pertaining to WIWAG that is filled with misinformation, misrepresentations and nonsense, etc. It is not worth my addressing his post specifically.

Every single sentence that I have written on this subject is 100% factual and accurate. If it were not I would have already been sued. CU WAS very involved and hands on with every step of the WIWAG crime. CU did most of the leg work for the FBI and the prosecutors. For those of you who think that I am full of it, please write or call Orlando and have him tell you the exact Thursday in August 2003 when CU employees picked up the sealing machine and unopened holders from WIWAG.

It is too bad that people have to draw lines in the sand. Guys like Dude, Acowa, Toppsgun, Basilone, Buckwheat, Wolfbear, Gemint and Tipem have to make this an adversarial situation when we are all in this together.

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#309181 - 02/07/04 10:17 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: botn]
gemint
Learning the Ropes


Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 25

Offline
* Internet 'cookies' protection set to low *

Greg,

I'm not drawing a line in the sand. I have no problem with you posting complaints about PSA, WIWAG or even me. I'm just issuing a friendly challenge that if you are most interested in making the hobby better (which I'm sure you are), then why not contribute some posts on positive topics in addition to your existing activity? I'm sure collectors who view or participate in this forum could benefit from your knowledge of the hobby.

Back to the other side.

* Internet 'cookies' protection returned to 'high' setting *

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#309182 - 02/07/04 10:43 PM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: gemint]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Gemint

I do post regularly and contribute on the Vintage 54 Board. When there has been a topic on this board that I felt qualified to address I do so. Anytime I have been sent a PM or an e-mail from a board member I have always been happy to take time out and give my opinion.

I will admit I am very focused on the WIWAG scandal due to the mass cover up and feel it is paramount to identify and try to reduce the corruption that exists in this hobby. I think it is important for those who can think for themselves (Dan Markel and his Merry Men, excluded) to know what really happens behind the scenes.






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#309183 - 02/08/04 04:31 AM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: botn]
aconte
Bid more or post more... tough one...


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1896
Loc: On The Beach....where else!

Offline
gosoxbosox,

Excellent advice offered last night on the Psa boards! Makes for a much happier
Sunday.



aconte
_________________________

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#309184 - 02/08/04 05:53 AM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: aconte]
Davalillo1
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 119

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First, thanks to the messengers of support on this board--most of whom also post on the psa message boards--Grillo, Aconte, Greg,Gemint, VaYank, John Basilone and most of all Tom Papa.
Since I cannot say it there (please bear with me) thank you for the outpouring of support from serious collectors on the PSA boards. While I appreciate that many serious collectors do not agree with all I say, that is the idea--to promote serious debate. Thanks in particular to Mike Schmidt(Marc Schoenen). He is the most knowledgeable collector on the psa boards and has turned into a great friend.
As all of you on this board know and probably most on the psa boards, many of the attacks are from certain people who are jealous of my collection and do not like my direct style and take on multiple identities to create the image of an uprising. Many of these people are not even collectors and simply are on the boards to stir the pot. Most of what is said about me is ludicrous and a gross exaggeration of what I said. For example, I have been critical about Joe Orlando for refusing to discuss rthe WIWAG scandal but I applaud both Greg's and Dan Markel's efforts to find the truth and I wish collectors could work together in this regard.
I actually do believe that psa wants to implement the half point grading system and I would hope that serious collectors would fight this.
It is of course a fact(not rumor) what I have said about collectors crossing over to GAI and them orienting their new submissions there.
I offer a perspective of a collector with a long-term history in the business. I know most major dealers well and I know many of the major figures in card grading. I also speak with other major collectors.
With few exceptions, these sources are not available to those on the PSA boards. Joe Orlando obviously knows this and does not want this point of view getting out on the boards.
Lastly, Estang am I going to contact SGC or not? No. First I am not ready to cross over all or part of my collection so I do not want to waste his time. Second, I would certainly accept an introductory call from him. Third, my view is that GAI has the best graders in the business --hands down--so if I was inclined to do so I think they would make me a pretty attractive offer. I may start giving them some business soon anyway. But I am not ready to rush wholesale into anything.

Jim(Davalillo)

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#309185 - 02/08/04 08:42 AM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: Davalillo1]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

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Jim,

Thanks for the response to my inquiries. As Vayank stated, you're welcome here!

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#309186 - 02/08/04 09:33 AM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: estang]
GoSoxBoSox
Just got here


Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 3

Offline
As somebody who participates regularly on the PSA board I can tell you that a majority of "Dav Haters" are people that are relatively clueless at best about what Jim says. I include myself in that group. That said, I have stood up against "outing" Jim because all of us have partial knowledge of the entire situation. In my world partial knowledge never leads to the correct conclusion. This argument works both for and against Jim. i don't know that Jim has full knowledge about the things he says either. But I do know he's a stand-up guy.

Most members have focused more on the way his message is delivered rather than the facts, which they are all very short on. Most will never get over the way the see Jim. It's a battle he can never win in any forum. Especially when the great OZ speaks out against him.

I have nothing against Joe Orlando personally. My mother always taught me to see the good in people and I'm try to do just that. I will assume that if Joe really banned Jim it is for a reason he considers to important. Joe certainly can do as he see's fit without explananation to any of us. It's his forum. In fact, Joe would probably do best by ignoring everything said on these forums. As he has stated before, the members of the forum represent approximately 1% of PSA overall business (or something to that affect). If that's true we are rather insignificant and banning Jim for his comments is irrelevant.

I just don't get the bickering or how any of us have the time to dislike so much.


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#309187 - 02/08/04 11:31 AM Re: Answer the question Dav! [Re: GoSoxBoSox]
jackstraw
Talkative?


Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 744
Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

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i just don't understand why jim was booted? just because jim wants to keep psa on their toes and not let them get too automated (which i think they have been on auto pilot for over a year now) is no reason to boot him?
i think that all the info that jim has provided should be public. we should know who has left the company, we should know that they are contemplating a change in the grading scale. i don't know jim but would like to meet him someday and view the masses of graded cards. i hope you don't think from my post earlier that i was saying you were not welcome here. this is a good group of guys over here and some of the nicest cards i have ever viewed are here on the registry! i recommend bmw's o pee chee series d set and deadlyembraces 62 and 69 set. those are probably some of the nicest sports cards i have ever seen via the internet.
_________________________
Ken Griffey Jr

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