There is a huge interest in sports memorabilia, and sports-related items include signed commemorative photos, baseballs, footballs, basketballs, pucks and jerseys. A Google search of companies hawking these items comes up with almost 5 million businesses!
Some of the items on offer cost thousands of dollars.
Where there are so many eager and gullible customers, fraud is sure to appear. A San Diego federal judge who recently sentenced several sports autograph forgers to prison said, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of the national pastime, has been undone”. The prosecution stemmed from an FBI investigation called Operation Bullpen, which closed down a professional criminal organization that forged and sold bogus autographs.