Monday, February 1, 2016

The Swindler Has Been Swindled

The New York Yankees owner may have a reason for being “so cheap.” According to documents filed in Chicago federal court by attorneys for a sports memorabilia executive charged with fraud Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner may have had more than $30,000 stolen from him. According to those same documents the company Mastro Auctions is being accused of something they call “shill bidding” where the bookkeeper taking your bid actually raises the price of the bid to pocket some of the money involved. Call it a bid tax if you will.

Former Mastro president Doug Allen is accused of the shill bidding with Steinbrenner on more than a dozen lots in 2007 and 2008 before Mastro closed its doors in 2009. The court papers do not reveal what Steinbrenner was bidding on but some Mastro Auctions catalogues that have since been turned in as evidence show that Steinbrenner bought thousands of dollars’ worth of unopened packs of late 60’s and early 70’s Topps Baseball cards.

Allen has since pled guilty to wire fraud and is expecting to go before a U.S. District Judge this month to receive sentencing. The government estimated that Steinbrenner had about $35,000 stolen from him through shill bidding while defense attorney’s for Hal state that the Yankees owner loss $2,000 or less. Who knows? Steinbrenner declined to comment.

This is terrible news for Hal, not that he will miss the money by any means, and I hope it gets worked out quickly for him. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)