In a surprising turn of events, MeiGray, a leader in photomatching, has retracted its authentication of a Michael Jordan game-used jersey, which it had previously verified as originating from the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.
This decision follows recent investigative reporting from the Action Network, which cast serious doubts on the jersey’s authenticity.
- Initially, MeiGray had authenticated the jersey based on photographs provided by a foundation named after a deceased photographer. However, subsequent findings revealed that this foundation does not even exist, as confirmed by the photographer’s family.
- The stakes were high: if the authentication had remained undisputed, the jersey’s value might have skyrocketed from its initial $27,000 purchase price in July 2023 to an estimated $1 million. This would have marked it as the first game-used collectible from the ’96 playoffs to be made available in the market.
- After the revelations from the Action Network, MeiGray promptly suspended its letter of authenticity, pending further investigation. Today, the company conclusively stated that the authentication was based on doctored evidence and counterfeit documentation. MeiGray officially stated, “We incorrectly authenticated the jersey based on counterfeit documentation and doctored media that we initially failed to recognize as such.”
- Interestingly, this isn’t the first time this jersey has exchanged hands. In one instance, it even came with an authentication letter dated May 16, 1996. This date raises eyebrows, as it suggests the jersey was already in circulation among collectors almost two weeks before Jordan purportedly wore it during a game.
- On August 8, Juan Garcia, aka CardPorn, the individual in the eye of this storm, presented the Michael Jordan jersey to MeiGray’s offices. Despite having seen and been unable to authenticate the jersey previously, MeiGray went on to authenticate it based on the new photographs provided by Garcia, purportedly purchased from the non-existent foundation.
- The jersey’s current whereabouts remain unknown.