When it comes to being a sports card scammer, Kevin Burge can do it all.
The Mooresville, North Carolina dealer has been accused of forging autographs, faking patch cards, and trimming cards as far back as 2003.
In addition to the card doctoring, Burge has 35 documented criminal arrests or citations.
Burge is suspected of trimming this 1993 Upper Deck Sp Derek Jeter rookie card that sold for $73,000 by PWCC in September 2018.
Trimmed - Sold for $73,000
A 2003-04 Up Authentic Lebron James autograph is believed to be trimmed by Burge and sold for $11,600 by PWCC in June 2017.
Trimmed - Sold for $11,600
There are a litany of complaints on various sports card forums about Burge including Beckett, Freedom Cardboard, Collectors Universe, and Blowout chronicling his scams.
He's used a variety of eBay names over the years and also goes by the business name Pristine Sports Collectibles.
Highlights of his sports card scams:
5-7-2008 - eBay ID shoeless-joejackson - queencity-sportscards = Kevin Burge The worst seller
7-28-2009 - Meet Kevin Burge AKA ShoelessJoe at The National
11-21-2008 - QUEENCITY-SPORTSCARDS & other forgers/alterers ~UPDATE~
10-1-2009 - NEW SCAM: 2001 Pujols Chrome Fakes Spotted At Philly Show
10-22-2009 - GAI Has Made A Deal With The Devil
10-28-2009 - Yet another scam to be aware of in the hobby
1-8-2010 - A Good Reason Not To Trust PSA Or Any Auto Authentication Service
1-20-2010 - Kevin Burge Tries To Elude Recognition, Fails
2-15-2011 - SELLER ALERT: queencity-sportscards
1-31-2018 - Anyone know ebay user “eagles2009champ”?
9-18-2018 - What ever happened to Kevin Burge?
4-9-2019 - Bill Sliheet & Superior Sports Investments Selling Trimmed via PWCC (Kevin Burge too)
4-24-2019 - BUYER BEWARE: Trimmed PSA-10 2000 Stadium Club Derek Jeter Co-Signers on Ebay
5-19-2019 - At Least 2/4 1993 SP PSA 10 Jeters Sold by PWCC are Likely Trimmed
Kevin Burge mug shot
The only thing longer than Burge’s rap sheet in the sports card world is his actual arrest record.
Burge has been cited or arrested over 35 times.
Highlights of his arrest record include:
ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON
DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED
URINATE IN PUBLIC
DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED
DISORDERLY CONDUCT PUBLIC BLDG
SECOND DEGREE TRESPASS
ASSAULT BY STRANGULATION
VIOLATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PO
In the sports card world, people like Burge are still welcome at industry events. He is listed as an attendee of the 2018 Beckett Industry Summit.
The card industry trimmers and scammers stick together.
Also listed as a Beckett Industry Summit attendee is Keith Koenig, an associate of Burge. Koenig has been known to buy cards for Burge, who then trims them.
Steven 'InstaTrimmer' Tormollan
At large sports card shows the card trimmers will often be seen together.
Here are Burge (left) Vinny Ho (center), and Koenig (right) at the Cleveland National.
Ho was found selling two trimmed cards using two different eBay accounts, avsports888 and tonkabearbrons23.
A forum user commented of the image of the card trimmers, "they look like the Dollar Tree cardboard version of The Hangover."
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!
The promotional offers from Leaf Trading Cards during The National Sports Collectors Convention may not be what they seem.
At the 2018 show in Cleveland, Leaf employee Joe Clemons CLEANED UP when he got at least 43 of 120 serial numbered 1/1 cards that were advertised as a promotion to collectors.
A second Leaf employee, Adam Berk, has sold 23 of the 1/1 Gold & Gold Super cards.
Sold for $499 by a Leaf employee
"I don't believe the 1 of 1 plates were included in the packs," Gray said in an email exchange with Sports Card Radio.
Many of the printing plates from the set have been found on eBay from various sellers.
The most valuable cards in the set were the 1/1 Gold & Gold Super parallels.
Sports Card Radio obtained data that shows Clemons ended up with over 43 of those 1/1 cards. Many went on to be graded by Beckett Grading Services (BGS) and were sold on eBay under his account wjc75056.
Clemons is a former BGS employee currently embroiled in a separate scandal involving his former employer.
Collectors have discovered Clemons has an uncanny ability to get perfect 'Black Label' and 'Pristine' scores when he grades cards through BGS. His overall numbers appear to defy logic and math.
This trend has held true in the data Sports Card Radio recently analyzed.
Clemons had BGS grade 136 Leaf promo cards on Oct 4th, 2018, and received 21 "Black Label" 10's, 67 "Pristine" 10's, and 48 BGS 9.5's.
Leaf owner Brian Gray wrote on the Blowout Forum:
"We gave away a little more than half the packs that were made. On the Sunday of the show, we sold the remaining packs to a number of people including Tom Fish from Blowout, Joe and more. At least 10 different dealers were offered the chance to buy remaining packs BEFORE Joe was allowed to buy the remaining after those guys took what they wanted."
But it was Clemons who ended up with 43 of 120 1/1 Gold or Gold Super cards. The best cards available in the packs.
"I can share that Joe (Clemons) only worked in the buying section of Leaf’s booth at that event, nowhere near or in control of the packs. Two other Leaf employees were the custodians of these packs," Gray said in the above mentioned email exchange with Sports Card Radio.
Gray wasn't sure how many promotional packs he sold to Clemons.
The only other eBay account that has sold the 1/1 Gold or Gold Super promotion cards in large quantity is eBay user kingofswing97.
To date, 23 of the Gold or Gold Super 1/1 cards have been sold through kingofswing97. Only Clemons has sold more.
There appear to be some links between Clemons and kingofswing97.
For example, kingofswing97 is following both Clemons and Leaf on eBay.
The same scanner was likely used to list Clemons and kingofswing97 Gold & Super 1/1's.
Check out this photo comparison. The Mariano Rivera Gold Super 1/1 was sold on Clemons account, wjc75056. The Lavar Ball 1/1 Gold Super was sold by kingofswing97.
This promo scandal has prompted a supposed employee handbook change at Leaf.
"To alleviate any future concern, we put a policy in place to prevent even the appearance of impropriety, no longer selling any cards of any kind to employees under any circumstance," says Gray.
2019 has been rough on Gray and Clemons. Both have had their integrity questioned throughout the Blowout Forum thread detailing the Clemons BGS scandal.
However, Gray continues to stand by Clemons despite mounting evidence of his involvement in multiple scandals.
"I am fully aware of your motives and desire to report anything that might get you clicks. I stand by the fact that the packs were sold in an arms length transaction where the buyer had no idea what cards were still contained in packs," said Gray.
1st Page Example
Sold by Clemons:
TERRY BRADSHAW 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC SUPERFRACTOR 1/1
CHLOE KIM 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC SUPERFRACTOR 1/1
CHLOE KIM 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1
JOSE CANSECO 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC SUPERFRACTOR 1/1
DOYLE BRUNSON 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851828)
DANIEL NEGREANU 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851823)
MARIANO RIVERA 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC SUPERFRACTOR 1/1
FRANK THOMAS 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851035)
MANON RHEAUME 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC SUPERFRACTOR 1/1
FRANK THOMAS 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1
SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL GOLD SUPERFRACTOR ROOKIE CARD 1/1 BGS 10 (serial #0010851702)
JOSH ROSEN 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR ROOKIE RC 1/1
HAKEEM OLAJUWON 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD REFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851838)
LAVAR BALL 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL GOLD REFRACTOR ROOKIE CARD RC 1/1 BGS 10 (serial #0010851754)
LIANGELO BALL 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL GOLD REFRACTOR RC 1/1 BGS 10 QUAD BLACK LABEL (serial #0010851652)
MAGIC JOHNSON 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD REFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010851841)
DERRIUS GUICE 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR ROOKIE 1/1 BGS 10 (serial #0010851701)
ROY JONES JR. 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851832)
ERROL SPENCE JR. 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 10 (serial #0010851753)
SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD REFRACTOR ROOKIE CARD RC 1/1
BOBBY HULL 2018 LEAF ORIGINALS METAL '48 GOLD SUPERFRACTOR 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010851825)
BAKER MAYFIELD 2018 Leaf Originals Metal Gold Refractor RC 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010830765)
Currently for sale by Clemons:
SAM DARNOLD 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Refractor Rookie Card RC 1/1
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Prismatic Superfractor 1/1
STEPHEN CURRY 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Prismatic Refractor 1/1
RONALD ACUNA 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Prismatic Superfractor RC 1/1
PELE 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Superfractor 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010851822)
NICO HISCHIER 2018 Leaf Originals Metal Gold Superfractor Rookie RC 1/1 BGS 9.5 (serial #0010851826)
BEN AFFLECK 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Superfractor 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010851834)
JOE VELENO 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Superfractor Rookie RC 1/1 BGS 9.5 (serial #0010851830)
HOPE SOLO 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Superfractor 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT (serial #0010851829)
CLYDE DREXLER 2018 Leaf Originals Metal '48 Gold Superfractor 1/1 BGS 9.5 GEM (serial #0010851824)
Sold by kingofswing97:
WADE BOGGS 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - RED SOX
PETE ROSE 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - REDS
DOYLE BRUNSON 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - POKER
DANIEL NEGREANU 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - POKER
ANFERNEE SIMONS 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1
TERRY BRADSHAW 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - STEELERS
WADE BOGGS 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - RED SOX
MO BAMBA 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD REFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - ORLANDO MAGIC
LAMELO BALL 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD REFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - LONZO BRO
LAVAR BALL 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - LONZO DAD
DENNIS RODMAN 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - BULLS
LAMELO BALL 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1
BOB GRIESE 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - DOLPHINS
ERROL SPENCE JR 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - BOXING
Currently for sale by kingofswing97:
EARL CAMPBELL 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - OILERS
EARL CAMPBELL 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - OILER
SHAWN KEMP 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - SONICS
BO JACKSON 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - ROYALS
CARLI LLOYD 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD SUPERFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - SOCCER
ANFERNEE SIMONS 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD REFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - BLAZERS
CLYDE DREXLER 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD REFRACTOR PRISMATIC 1/1 - BLAZERS
RANDY JOHNSON 2018 LEAF METAL ORIGINALS GOLD PRISMATIC REFRACTOR 1/1 - MARINERS
a.k.a "Hands Shaking"
Topps employee Mark Sapir sent a message to Sports Card Radio that read: “If I ever see you say anything negative about this company (Topps), especially on Twitter, I’ll cut you off for good.”
A few months later this guy came up to Ryan with his hands shaking at the Industry Summit looking to become buds. Ryan brushed him off. Several weeks later Sapir left Topps.
Was he fired or did he quit? You can decide.
Ex-Cardboard Connection CEO
On November 8, 2014, then Cardboard Connection owner Mike Smeth wrote Colin and Ryan:
"LOL I can't wait to see you at the next trading card event. I will even lend you some gas money!"
Two years later, Sports Card Radio broke the EXCLUSIVE news that Smeth pled guilty to Aggravated Assault and Terroristic Threats. Smeth was sentenced to 5 years and 12 months, which will be served via probation.
During divorce proceedings, a court found Smeth was stealing money from Cardboard Connection, causing the website to miss payroll. A judge stripped Smeth of his ownership.
It's believed Smeth is currently in drug rehab.
a.k.a "Bad Moodhe"
At the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention, Ryan was taking pictures of 5x7 cards at the Topps booth when he was approached by employee Kevin Moodhe.
Ryan had never met Moodhe before and attempted to greet Moodhe with a handshake that was denied.
Moodhe told Ryan to delete the pictures on his phone of the 5x7 cards, and instructed him to go into his trash file and delete them as well.
Ryan did not know how to delete pictures from his trash file and Moodhe had to instruct him. Coming off 6 months living in Las Vegas, Moodhe got a glimpse of the Vegas life as Ryan had to flip through all his images to get to the 5x7 Topps cards.
Less than 12 months later Moodhe no longer works at Topps. Was he fired or did he quit? You can decide.
If this scrub resurfaces in the sports card world, we'll come looking for this bum again.
Beckett Industry Summit
Sports Card Radio helped drive record attendance to the Industry Summit for consecutive years. The event even drew a lucrative "media sponsorship" from Smeth (see above).
Isaacson though didn't like some of the "tweets" from the event and told Sports Card Radio to stop coming.
In recent years, attendance has plummeted. Topps and Upper Deck put on their own conference. Panini has stopped giving away lucrative "Black Boxes." And oh yeah, Kevin's name wasn't on the email promoting the 2019 event.
a.k.a "Broke Rondo"
a.k.a "MiniVan Flex"
After Ryan flashed his Tesla on Facebook, Jon Ronolone lost his mind and showed a picture of a tricked up mini-van. In the rust belt that might be cool, but out on the west coast that's a waste of gas money.
"Broke Rondo" sent numerous messages via Facebook that he'll meet the twins at the "Natty" and do something, but he appears to be all bark and no bite. After being put on the homepage of Sports Card Radio, things quickly got quiet.
This breaker fanboy tried to come on and defend a buddy that ended up on the homepage of Sports Card Radio. He quickly got caught up in the action when he started talking about lawsuits and slit wrists.
This little puppy went silent after seeing his name and face on the homepage.
Albenze Law, PLC
a.k.a "Lunch Pic"
Another hater popped up on Facebook & hung around for a little while even after being put on the homepage of Sports Card Radio.
Sezan claimed to work for an Ohio law firm. When Sports Card Radio inquired with the firm, turns out they had never heard of the guy.
Just another lying scrub.
a.k.a "My Forum Sucks"
A mostly harmless website owner who seems to say the wrong things at the wrong time.
He popped up around the time of the Smeth scandal (see above), wanting Sports Card Radio to post the information on his forum. When rebuffed by one of the twins (Ryan), Gilmore sent a message to the other twin (Colin) wondering what the deal was.
Gilmore later apologized to Ryan at The National for the encounter.
10 months later, Gilmore returned again to nitpick a headline on one of Sports Card Radio's articles.
Just shut up already!
Any more words out of this guy and it's right back onto the homepage.
Poor guy has some Troy Glaus slabs and a couple Shawn Merriman jersey cards that he keeps as "investments."
Every time there is a scandal in the hobby, Chavis runs to defend the accused scammer or card company.
Despite trying to keep a low profile, a user sent this picture of Chavis which he denies is him.
Is it him? Who knows. Who cares....
a.k.a "5 Finger Discount"
Anyone heard of this clown since he was caught stealing cards on camera during a group break? Didn't think so. Case closed.
a.k.a "Bernie Bro"
This Bernie Sanders supporter came and ran his mouth on Sports Card Radio's Facebook page one night. Turns out that wasn't a safe space for him.
All it takes is one comment and your name and face can be on the front page of Sports Card Radio.
Looks like snowflakes melt when heat is applied.
a.k.a "Midwest Huckster"
Bowling Green, KY
Just another card collector who gets worked up about the twins showing a Rolex (or two) on Facebook.
Poor guy still hasn't fixed the battery on daddy's timex he inherited. It was the only thing daddy left poor Bradley. Hopefully he can get it fixed one day.
You know it's bad when there is an entire Instagram account set up to expose your scams.
The IG account appeared after a 100+ page Blowout Forum thread called out sports card loser Eric Bitz of BuyNiceCards.com
In the thread, a "three-way" deal that went bad between Bitz and two other card fondlers was discussed.
Just know this, most guys involved with sports cards can only dream of a real ménage à trois.
Among his crimes in the sports card community, Bitz has been caught lying about and molesting his LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite RC.
I can give Blowout Forum a break, this time why not just copy and paste from Instagram?
IG has this handy embed feature. Amazing how easy putting up sports card content has become in 2019.
Someone set up an IG account for the other known scammers, I'll do an entire page on your posts.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!
Trading card scams, scandals, and shadiness are as common in the hobby as base cards.
While many are relatively minor in terms of monetary value, some reach proportions that even the scammers could never have predicted.
Card trimming & shill bidding has been widely known within card communities. However the stakes have been raised due to the money involved and the level of deception that has taken place.
Things started to heat up in April, when a Blowout Forum post outlined Will “One Touch” Jaimet’s Heroes of Sport re-pack product scam.
This led to further revelations about the shady dealings of Brent “Mastro” Huigens PWCC auction house. Seems like Brent was hip to this card trimming and wanted to cash in.
Brent just spent millions (of other people’s money) building himself a “vault” to fondle cards. And that will grab the attention of the law more than the guy shouting Brandin Cooks to 99 in his mom’s basement.
In fact, as you will see below. The most powerful institutions dedicated to upholding the law in the United States are now looking at trading card scams that were first reported on an internet forum.
Article: Gary Moser & PWCC Card Trimming/Shill Bidding Scams
Below are some trimmed screen shots of actual traffic data from sportscardradio.com. More interesting are the search terms or referral link the government agency’s used to find the site – but I don’t want Brent “Mastro” Huigens to lose any more sleep than he already has, so we’ll save those for another time.
Fairly amazing a scam that started with a post on an internet forum is being viewed by the United States FBI, Supreme Court, and U.S. House of Representatives.
So while the industry has their lawyers reading what Sports Card Radio says – we have the FBI, US Supreme Court, US House of Representatives reading what YOU are doing.