That’s the possible future a Norfolk man is facing for knowingly selling fake autographs of various celebrities, including David Tennant, Billie Piper, and Karen Gillan.
Andrew Sullivan, 50, of Heath Road, Lyng, was in Norwich Crown Court on a confiscation hearing where prosecutors presented that he knowingly sold fake autographs via eBay, some with authentication certificates, claiming they were genuine, and has pocketed approximately £35,000 from unsuspecting fans.
Sullivan was found in possession of a number of photos of Tennant, Piper, and Gillan, all bearing fake signatures, as well as false authentication certificates. He has admitted to selling similar items on eBay, as well as a string of fraud charges including -
…possession of an article for use in fraud and participating in a fraudulent business between November 1, 2009, and November 6, 2011, by knowingly carrying on an internet business for a fraudulent purpose, namely by retailing forged and unauthorised celebrity memorabilia.
There was also a subsequent investigation by the BBC into possible copyright infringement, to which Sullivan also admitted guilt.
The hearing was adjourned till 14th October in hopes that some of the money Sullivan netted might be reclaimed.
I am always leery to believe anything being sold on the web that claims to be a real signature or costume piece, etc., unless it is from something like a charity auction that has been well publicized, or a very trusted source, like a show’s owners. I feel bad for all of the people who were scammed. I would also much rather prefer to get such things as autographs in person because then I know just how authentic they really are!
Have you ever bought such items online? Was the experience a positive one?
(via Eastern Daily Press)