Van Halen autograph-forger pleads guilty to fraud in Missouri
Here's a tip for all you autograph seekers out there: don't believe everything you buy on eBay.
As reported by Reuters, a 49-year-old Missouri man plead guilty to fraud in federal court today after getting caught peddling more than 1,200 record album covers and sports memorabilia items that had been accentuated with phony signatures.
David Bruce Shryock used eight different eBay accounts to defraud victims of more than $175,000 (U.S.), say prosecutors. One example cited in the case was the sale of Van Halen's 5150 album, bearing what Shryock claimed were the bandmembers' autographs, for a winning eBay bid of $177 (U.S.). That's $177 (U.S.) more than that album's worth, some would argue, since it didn't even feature David Lee Roth.
Shryock allegedly carried out his scheme for six years, avoiding detection by opening new eBay and PayPal accounts when old ones were suspended, and using names of other persons to create accounts before cutting them a share of the proceeds.
Shryock also plead guilty to illegal possession of a firearm after burglarizing a lawyer's office, and as a convicted felon from previous forgery and other charges, he's in deep shit for that. He faces up to 30 years in prison, so probably won't be faking any signatures on the next Van Halen album, which--since it does feature Roth--might actually be worth a few bucks.
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