Over the past few months a number of adverse postings concerning my activities have appeared. While I am considering various actions I am available to answer any questions posed on this site. As background I have prepared the following responses to the adverse postings. I remain available to meet at anytime with anyone to go over this record.
- HBO Real Sports
On January 17, 2006 HBO Real Sports aired a story on forgeries in the memorabilia business. Prior to the show I was asked if I would provide opinion based on photos of alleged forgeries. In accord with good business practices and the fact that absent examination of actual items no one can give an informed opinion that can be presented in Court, I declined that invitation. HBO at no time confirmed this fact.
Certain items were sent to me from an inventory impounded by the F.B.I. in raids on locations that were suspected of trafficking in forgeries. It must be noted that entire inventories were confiscated including baseball memorabilia that had been documented as legitimate. I was able to opine that certain items sent to me appeared legitimate. HBO did not clarify that the ceased material included legitimate items as well as forgeries.
HBO withheld the identity of its "star witness", a witness not subject to cross examination. Subsequent to the airing of the program it became known that this witness was a known felon who had done business with the notorious Marino family, the most skilled family engaged in the proliferation of forged sports memorabilia. Compounding this obvious manipulation to support its story, the moderator asked about and the "star witness" opined on the veracity of items being auctioned on eBay. The witness who did not examine the items, who stated he was only a dealer not a forger and more than a decade after the questioned items allegedly were forged, alleged that the items were fakes.
This set-up piece is contrary to the practices of law enforcement and would never stand-up in a Court of law. As to the Marino family skill, one of the lead federal undercover agents has opined that the Marino's were so skilled and even had obtained vintage items so that absent very specialized analysis and other clues, he probably wouldn't have known the items were fake. The HBO analysis appears to be based on an assumption that all confiscated items were fake and that cursory examinations by a convicted felon supplants legitimate testing.
I am happy to explore any questions anyone wishes to raise concerning my participation in the HBO story. It has been reported that the "star witness" has approached at least one of the parties who "failed" the HBO test seeking post-incarceration employment. To the best of my knowledge, this was rejected. Interestingly, the "star witness" has expressed disdain for "forensic experts," presumably because such people were instrumental in his conviction.
HBO alleged widespread fraud on eBay, and then recommended one of the eBay preferred examiners - who already does a lot of the work on eBay that they were criticizing - as the place to send items for authentication. At the same time, the "objective" witness and the HBO program recommended utilizing the services of one of the known felon's prior business associates.
"Forensic examiners" are highly skilled and while they cannot be perfect, a consumer's best protection is verification of any COA through such an examiner.
- Employment and Partnerships
I am now and in the past been self employed since leaving the Federal government. I have, at their request, examined items for other authenticators. One of those companies inadvertently included me on its web site as an employee. This posting was immediately taken down after I became aware of it. Certain people continue to refer others to this inadvertent posting. Such references demonstrate a serious breach of conduct particularly when the truth has been demonstrated to them.
A few times in the past, I explored the possibility of forming a partnership. For logistical and other business reasons, I have never formed any partnerships. I have never had a business agreement or financial relationship with any other examiner(s).
Prior to this website, I have never posted anything on the internet with my experience or background. Someone has seen fit to alter and post a resume for me, listing a non-existent partnership as an actuality. The mere posting of an unauthorized resume does not make the information contained within it true.
Additionally, I have seen information on several websites indicating partnerships with several individuals. Ironically, I have never had any contact whatsoever with some of the individuals I am allegedly partnered with, including one who is deceased. Any information concerning partnerships or business relationships between myself and any other examiners outside of this website is unauthorized.
- Individual Items
- A few individuals have proffered comments on various internet sites asserting many inaccurate and misleading statements. I am willing to meet with each or any of these individuals to set the record straight. As stated above, contrary to their assertions, I have never been in partnership with any other party. As can be seen from my qualifications I have been trained by federal agencies in examining question documents including signatures. I perform services for individuals and cannot understand how they can assert they have reviewed over 150 items I have authenticated since none of my clients has indicated that they had sent 150 items to them. It is clear that they have reviewed pictures and fax copies of items I have authenticated in person and found my findings inaccurate. Scans are not adequate to make such determinations, fax copies even less so. Proper examinations cannot be conducted off of pictures, especially of dissimilar items.
- Assertions against me and others that our COA's are not accepted by the auction houses neglect to point out that auction houses, including eBay, have policies in which they only recognize certifications from predetermined providers. This practice does not allow for other certifications. I stand by my certifications, and anyone who cares to contact me can do so at this site or the contact information herein.
- It has not been possible to confront certain individuals and groups that have caused distress to holders of certifications from myself and others, inasmuch as the identities of these people are masked by code names, they do not respond to emails, or have post office box addresses, not physical locations, where they may be contacted.
- Many authenticators have not had formal forensic training. Many have developed expertise through practice, clubs and associations. This in and of itself does not preclude them from performing good jobs. The trained forensic examiner brings additional expertise to the field. In light of the advances in technology permitting unscrupulous people to forge, as has been demonstrated by the Marino family, coupled with the ability to acquire vintage material, the importance of trained forensic examinations necessarily will increase.
- I have chosen to belong to several professional scientific organizations. I have chosen not to join any clubs and other associations which cannot and do not require the level of training that has lead to my recognition as a forensic expert in court.
- An Open Challenge
As noted herein, I will meet anyone in a public forum to review and assess my work efforts. Since private communications are often cherry picked to bolster a point of view, at times misdirecting the facts, it is my position that any meetings and communications be conduct in the open. If anyone desires to contact me concerning an open forum, please do not hesitate to call, email or otherwise contact me at anytime.