We are SICK of having to write about another pair of industry scumbags. But put away your plastic slabs for a second and get to know this duo.
In early 2019, Bill Sliheet and Nate Nichols from Superior Sports Investments (SSI) were called out for having trimmed cards for sale.
Initially, it wasn't clear if SSI knowingly sold trimmed cards, or perhaps, they were duped themselves and didn't have a clue about the alterations.
They are a large graded card dealer in Texas, with close ties to Beckett Grading Services (BGS).
Sliheet posted here to defend himself. Unrelated, he mentions shill bidding at PWCC.
Sports Card Trimmers
After several more cards were proven to be bought, trimmed, graded, and re-sold in such a short window it became clear SSI was doing the trimming.
Sliheet came back to defend himself, but it's mostly a long winded post where he complains about being caught.
A user by the name of Iceman1982 showed up and trolled the thread.
Turns out this was SSI partner Nate Nichols, who was promptly banned and also discovered he was called out in 2016 for card trimming.
Soon after Nichols was banned, more trimmed cards were discovered.
Blowout Forum Moderators finally banned the SSI account.
In a HORRIBLE attempt at hobby journalism, the Go GTS Blog claims SSI's business (not named in the article) WENT UP in wake of the scandal on the Blowout Forums. Yikes.
SSI continues to sell proven trimmed cards on their website, including this Russell Westbrook for $2,125.
Being Sold by SSI
Sports Card Radio was banned from the Industry Summit but known card trimmers are allowed to attend!
See if you can spot all THREE just on this page!
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!
Former Beckett Grading Services (BGS) and current Leaf Trading Cards employee Joe Clemons appears to have a statistically impossible rate at getting BGS 10's & 'Black Labels.'
Blowout Forum user Kyaa lays out the shocking details in this thread.
Here are just one of many SHOCKING BGS submissions.
Have you ever got anything that looked like this from BGS?
Joe Clemons Recent BGS Submission
11014560 2018 Topps Chrome Update Juan Soto Black Label
11014562 2017 Bowman Chrome Draft Royce Lewis Black Label
11014563 2018 Topps Walmart Holiday Snowflake Ronald Acuna Black Label
110144565 2018 Topps Chrome Update International Affair Ohtani Black Label
11014567 2018 Topps Chrome Update Walker Buehler Black Label
11014568 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Manny Machado Black Label
11014570 2018 Topps Chrome Update Shohei Ohtani Black Label
11014571 2018 Topps Chrome Update Juan Soto Black Label
11014573 2018 Topps Chrome Update Mookie Betts Black Label
11014575 2018 Topps Update An International Affair Shohei Ohtani Black Label
11014577 2018 Topps Walmart Holiday Snowflake Shohei Ohtani RC Black Label
11014580 2018 Topps Chrome Update Mike Trout Black Label
11014581 2018 Topps Chrome Update Ronald Acuna Jr. RD BGS 10
Here is one of the Black Label cards he's received.
Clemons did come on to defend himself in a separate post you can read here. (Deleted)
He writes "I've gotten a good amount of black labels in the past. I’m also submitting the easiest stuff on the planet to get good grades on. I spend hours on top of hours going through 10’s of thousands of cards to submit the nicest ones."
Leaf Trading Cards CEO Brian Gray chimed in first here and throughout the thread.
Here are "BG's" thoughts:
"With respect to Joe, he does work for us on a contract basis. I cannot speak to these grading submissions as I have no first hand knowledge. But, I have seen him dig through boxes at shows looking for cherry cards. I have shown him cards before when I wasnt sure a card would meet our minimum grade for a buyback product. His eye is exceptional and I would 1000% guarantee BGS or PSA would hire him in 10 seconds. BUT AGAIN, I CANNOT SPEAK TO OR ADD COLOR TO HIS BUYING/SELLING/GRADING OF CARDS. I do however have a hard time believing he would ever alter a card and I do not believe he would ever bribe someone (nor do I believe anyone at PSA or BGS would accept a bribe - but again, this is merely my opinion.)."
Gray offered $25,000 for anyone who can prove Clemons has an inside job going with BGS.
Update: June 2, 2019:
eBay seller brentandbecca says he was offered a guaranteed grade deal from BGS.
Former Topps employee Jon Einalhori confirmed on Twitter: "Guys, it's 1000% true. Not even worth debating. It's true and it's terrible. Bulk clients get a certain amount of guaranteed grades. No questions asked. It's happened and still does."
Update: June 4, 2019:
- Joe will provide BGS account information to Blowout Forum Member
- Data provided to Blowout Forum Member appears incomplete and only goes back to November 2018. Joe ONLY allowed Black Label data to be shown, not Pristine 10 cards.
- Joe got 17/22 Black Labels for his two, onsite, one day orders.
- Brian Gray, Leaf CEO, responds to data provided.
Update: June 8, 2019:
The Beckett podcast talked about the Clemons issue. It starts at 20:00.
Here is a rough transcript of what was said:
Host Eric: I’ve never once seen Joe in the backroom. He is stopped at the front. And, you guys take his cards, and it’s like Fort Knox back there, you can’t just go back there.
Derek Ficken: There are multiple cameras looking at everyone at all times. There’s hand access for the vault, where only a small handful of people have. This whole inside man thing, I think is the funniest thing about this whole issue, if you want to call it. But to have an inside man, seriously there is no possible way for that to happen. Because there is so many different security steps this company has already put into place for that not to happen, you know what I mean?
Because this industry is, in my opinion, its all about money. So us as a company we make sure there is no conflict of interest by having someone come up to us, and say, “Hey here’s $1000, hook me up bro.” That happens to me all the time.
Eric: I’ve seen it.
Derek Ficken: I hate it. It automatically gives you two strikes, you know what I mean? Because that is what is completely wrong with the hobby.
Eric: Absolutely. I’ve seen it at the National. I’ve seen it in Toronto.
Derek Ficken: The National is terrible.
Eric: They bring you graders food. They’ll bring money, or other gifts and they get pissed because their cards are graded in the same manner as everyone else cards are.
There is a vocal minority that is being very loud right now, and it’s sad to see. It’s interesting to me because I think if the good guys will just speak up it might not be…..
Derek Ficken: Might level up little bit. I go through the comments and some of these things these guys say are just terrible. Not just things about the company, they are taking shots, personally.
I’ve never seen anything like this, and so now I feel for the athletes and the people that are legit famous that have to deal with this backlash on a daily basis on social media. And that’s a reason why I don’t do social media as much as I did. Because c’mon man. You know what I mean?
Update: June 10, 2019:
BGS and Leaf Trading Cards: The curious case of 2018 Valiant - new data emerges that conflicts with how BGS claims they process cards.
Update: June 15, 2019:
An eBay account linked to Leaf Trading Cards appears to get the same BGS 'Black Label' hook up as former Beckett & current Leaf employee, Joe Clemons receives.
Leaf CEO Brian Gray writes on Blowout Forum those who actually want the truth will PM or call him.
Update: June 16, 2019:
Sports Card Radio with an exclusive story about Clemons selling a large amount of Leaf promo cards.
Update: July 13, 2019:
Things just got real for two Beckett Grading Services employees.
Midwest/Southeast Regional Sales Manager & Beckett Podcast host Derek Ficken and Beckett's Vice President Jeromy Murray have been slapped with orders to appear in court.
The requests come from attorney's representing Upper Deck in a civil lawsuit against Leaf Trading Cards.
Here is what lawyers for Upper Deck are after from Ficken and Murray.
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!
Panini America Luka Doncic Autographs are fake.
Luka’s signature on his Panini America cards started changing over the course of the 2018-19 NBA Basketball season.
While not all that uncommon for an athlete to change his/her signature – Luka’s got more deliberate, neater, and more feminine as the season wore on.
Ultimately 3 different versions of Luka’s signature can be found.
Take a look at the evidence presented in the video above. And if you want to work for Panini’s
excuse PR department for free – go ahead and comment why you think I’m wrong.
Meanwhile, you can buy real Luka Doncic autographs from Fanatics for a fraction of the price of a Panini card + it’ll look nicer on the wall.
Bonus: Interesting Reddit Thread w/Handwriting Expert
You probably don’t know who Gary "Scissor Hands" Moser is. But as far back as 2002, the New York area dealer has been accused of altering, trimming, and cleaning vintage trading cards.
His card doctoring is so vast that it's hard to keep up with all his exploits over the years.
Starting on page 30, there is an ongoing thread about cards that have been trimmed or altered by Moser.
This is an ACTIVE situation.
- Moser made eBay account private less than 24 hours after this story was published
- PWCC used eBay acc to buy/sell cards for Moser
- PWCC says Moser Banned
- Darren Rovell Tweets Twice
- Oregon Newspaper Writes Summary
- REVISED PWCC Statement
- PSA Issues Statement
- Moser changes eBay name from Whitman111 to Ricky-leo.
- Another Oregon Newspaper Summary
- Rovell: Poll on if you believe PWCC & PSA
- SA: PSA - A Scandal Waiting To Be Exposed
- Beckett (BGS) Issues Statement
- Rovell: PWCC Offering Refunds
- Forbes: Fraud In Cards Goes On And On
New York Times: Moser Denies Trimming Cards
- Newcomer Guide to Trimming Scandal
- Guide to PWCC Card Trimming & Alteration Fraud
- VIDEO: The PWCC & PSA Fraud Scandal
Gary "Scissor Hands" Moser
Here is just a bite sized portion of a typical Moser scam.
Sports Card Radio recently obtained information about a 225 card PSA Collectors Universe Inc (NASDAQ:CLCT) order made by Gary Moser.
Moser, or someone on his behalf, submitted 135 of those PSA graded cards to the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
11 of the 135 cards have been documented as trimmed.
31 of the 135 cards submitted were shill bid by an eBay account connected to Moser. The total amount of the shill bidding was $12,318.01.
Moser won 2 of 31 items he shill bid on.
All the raw data, resources, and accompanying information is provided at the bottom of the post.
Third party card-grading companies, such as PSA and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC), are aware of Moser.
Moser claims to be one of the first dealers to send cards to be graded.
Posts on various sports card forums, such as Net54 and Blowout Cards, suggest Moser is banned from grading with PSA.
A PSA employee did not respond when asked if Moser, or anyone on his behalf, is banned from grading cards with their company.
For many years Moser has been using PWCC consignment service to sell his trimmed and altered cards.
PWCC Director of Communications Betsy Huigens wrote in an email to Sports Card Radio that "We are very aware of who Gary Moser is."
But PWCC wouldn't say if Moser has been banned from their marketplace.
Sports Card Radio was provided data of a recent 225 card PSA submission submitted by, or on the behalf of, Moser.
135 of those cards were placed in the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
An eBay account associated with Moser, whitman111, placed a bid on 31 of the 135 cards submitted, resulting in two winning bids.
"I don’t know the eBay user IDs of our clients in general, but folks have connected that person (Moser) with that user ID," says PWCC Betsy Huigens.
Despite several inquires, PWCC would not disclose if Moser was the consigner of the 135 cards.
PWCC Betsy Huigens, however, did add, "It is worth mentioning that in our definition, a 'shill bid' is a bid placed in falsehood without intention of being honored. Shill bidding is something we monitor and manage carefully and we don’t have any experience of shill bidding as you describe tied to this person (Moser)."
The relationship between PWCC and Moser appears to span many years.
Many more vintage cards tied to Moser are being uncovered on the Blowout Cards Forum that are separate from the data in this post.
View over 300 documented trimmed graded cards, including more by Moser.
Some forum users suggest that PWCC submits cards on behalf of Moser, or perhaps has an even more sinister role in the card trimming or altering.
PWCC has cards graded on behalf of customers, which are then consigned to PWCC auctions. The company also purchases cards on behalf of consignors with whom they manage a credit account.
Several people inside the industry believe PWCC plays an active role in shill bidding and card altering.
Explosive text messages from a former PWCC customer, Courtney DeLorme (1976-2018), show company CEO Brent Huigens directing DeLorme to place a bid on a PWCC auction item.
The texts were posted to the Net54 Forum, and involve an altered 1936 Goudey World Wide Gum DiMaggio card featured in a 2017 PWCC auction.
Actual text conversation
These are the same card
DeLorme claimed to be a previous owner of the DiMaggio card.
He asserted that Brent Huigens bought the card as an SGC 50, doctored it, and sold it as a PSA 7 to DeLorme and did not disclose the alterations done.
After the alterations on the DiMaggio were publicly discovered, Brent Huigens wrote in a separate text message to DeLorme that whomever removed the toning on the card, "did the hobby a favor. My two cents."
Betsy Huigens posted on the Net54 Forum that "we did indeed engage PSA to verify the accuracy of their assessment on this 1936 WWG DiMaggio. As we strongly believed, the card is graded accurately and this was re-confirmed by PSA prior the auction sale."
She added "Courtney DeLorme is a person with whom we no longer do business. Mr. DeLorme is now the first person in the history of PWCC to have been blocked as an individual rather than a specific user ID. This action was decided upon as a result to the ever-expanding list of abuse to our company, us as individuals, and the hobby at large."
Sports Card Radio asked Betsy Huigens why PWCC chose to comment on the status of Courtney DeLorme but not Gary Moser.
"I think we may have been caught up in the escalating drama in 2017 around this particular individual. We shouldn’t have shared that information at that time," says Betsy Huigens.
- 1st Page Preview -
135 cards were placed into the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
Marked (PWCC) on PDF spreadsheet.
11 of the 135 cards have been documented as trimmed.
Here are the Blowout Forums pages for all the 11 confirmed trimmed cards on the 225 card PDF spreadsheet:
Here are some the screen shots of the items Gary Moser shill bid on during the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
Ever since 2009, eBay has masked user IDs in both public feedback and bidding records. When eBay masks an ID, they take two characters in the user ID and place three asterisks in between as a masking tool.
Whitman111's default eBay masked ID is w***1.
However, for feedback purposes, eBay masks his user ID as 1***1.
Lastly, and most importantly, eBay masks his bids as m***i.
With bids, however, you will notice that the masked ID also contains a feedback number (currently 3813) and a colored star.
Furthermore, if you click the m***i ID, eBay will open a new tab showing the bidding history of w***1, further confirming they are the same person.
Here are the eBay bidding records for the shilled cards bid on by whitman111, noted here as m***i:
Gary Moser bought this 1955 Parkhurst Lou Pitoscia with his Whitman111 eBay account from seller teddy ball for $17.50.
You can see the exchange of feedback here, and also in the picture below.
Note that it says in the feedback the card is a PSA 5.5.
Moser trims the card to a PSA 8.
Card was in the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3. Moser shill bid on the card, up to $188.88. Check the link or see image below.
eBay seller scu316 sold this 1951 Parkhurst Jim Conacher on 10/20/2018 to whitman111 (Moser) for $70.
It was a PSA 5, and Moser trimmed it to a PSA 8.
Card was in the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
Moser shill bid and won his own item. See pictures below and here is the eBay bidding history link.
Other images of shill bidding done by whitman111 (Moser) on items in the PWCC Marketplace 2019 Premium Auction #3.
Text messages between Courtney DeLorme and PWCC CEO Brent Huigens
Must be a member to view
Forum posts by Gary Moser
- Gary says he split the money made from the altered 1955 Bowman cards with Mike (GAI's lead grader Mike Baker). Gary (jokingly?) offers refunds on the cards.
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!
Another day, another kill shot by Blowout Forum user 3124508 on COMC. This time known sports card trimmer Steven Tormollan is under the gun.
His past transgressions include selling fake Topps Originals Cards, and pretending to be his grandmother who passed away in 2016.
Tormollan who lives in Catonsville, Maryland buys damaged or lower grade cards to turn them into high grade gem mint cards.
His eBay name is: etheljean2014
He's worked with other known sports card trimmers Kevin Burge and Keith Koenig in the past.
Total So Far:
Number of cards found so far: 2
Total Amount of Cards Sold: $1,235.49
MORE NAMES COMING SOON!