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BREAKING NEWS: Brent Hires Criminal Lawyer

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  • BREAKING NEWS: Brent Hires Criminal Lawyer

    Brent Huigens (PWCC Marketplace) has hired New York criminal lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman. Lichtman is known for representing John Gotti Jr., and most recently, Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. Yes, I know, it sounds pretty f*cked up, but according to the sixth amendment, anyone accused of a crime is entitled to legal counsel. Anyways, Lichtman is also very passionate about the hobby and has a very big collection. He has also worked with the FBI in the past and gone after fraudsters, such as Bill Mastro and Doug Allen.

    Brent and Lichtman are currently working with the FBI and reaching out to people who purchased altered cards, and refunding them. Lichtman stated that at the moment they want to focus on the cards that were trimmed/recolored. In other words, he wants to focus on the very bad cards first. As for the others, such as those that were pressed for example, will be dealt with later. These altered cards that have been returned to Brent have been handed over to the FBI. What the FBI is going to do with them remains unknown. Lichtman also stated that PSA has not been very helpful during this process.

    A lot of people, including myself, have asked Lichtman many questions, however, he cannot answer all of them since he is limited in his disclosures. I did ask him about Gary Moser, but he did not give me a response. A few others asked him how they will be able to trace altered cards that PWCC sold over ten years ago. How far back will they go? How will they track all these cards down? Remember, some of these buyers have sold these altered cards to other collectors. It's a huge mess.

    If I hear about any major updates, then I will post them here.

  • #2
    I don't collect graded cards but what I don't understand is why don't they go after PSA too, there the company that Graded the cards.
    I have heard PSA DNA have graded autographs too that were not legit. Shame on them too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wonder if he will be putting out any mor conservation bull videos he knows better than we do

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DanTheVintageMan View Post
        I don't collect graded cards but what I don't understand is why don't they go after PSA too, there the company that Graded the cards.
        The FBI can't go after PSA unless they find some evidence that PSA was aware that the cards were altered and willingly graded those cards as unaltered. [If such evidence were to surface, there would be a host of charges possible.]

        There is nothing criminal about not catching someone else's fraud. To put it more bluntly, if you are a professional authenticator, there is absolutely nothing criminal about being bad at your job!

        Beyond criminal liability, however, there could be civil liability. (Civil liability isn't the domain of the FBI, however. The FBI is a law enforcement agency, not a consumer protection agency.)

        PSA has some civil liability in the form of the PSA Financial Guarantee. As I read it, that financial guarantee commits them to buy the card at market value if the card can no longer receive a numerical grade under PSA's standards. Read through the guarantee yourself. PSA put in a bunch of protections for themselves. But there's clearly an actionable guarantee, at least for claims that are very well documented.

        Presumably if PSA had to pay out under the terms of their financial guarantee, they would just recover that money from PWCC or others who submitted the altered cards in the first place. If those entities collapse and become insolvent, PSA would be left holding the bag. I assume that PSA has insurance for such a case, but that's just speculation on my part.

        Beyond civil liability, there is also some business risk.

        PSA's liability here is reputational. Will collectors continue to trust in PSA's authentication and grading standards? Aside from some grumbling on forums like this, I haven't read much about collectors boycotting purchases of PSA cards (yet). But depending on what comes out of this investigation, it's plausible that PSA graded card values could drop closer to (or even below) the value of SGC or BVG graded cards. That, in turn, would mean that PSA's authentication and grading process would theoretically have less value to collectors and that would result (again, theoretically) in less business for PSA.

        Comment


        • ericwag
          ericwag commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Hart.
          Last edited by ericwag; 08-08-2019, 01:05 PM.

        • pro9
          pro9 commented
          Editing a comment
          PSA does not have insurance to cover their potential liability. They effectively self-insure. They have set up a reserve fund, however, it only holds about $500,000. The information is available on the Collecter's Universe financial statements as it is a public company. That reserve fund also covers the coin grading division.

        • ericwag
          ericwag commented
          Editing a comment
          Good scouting, Pro9.
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