Doctor Who News Varos 4

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Rebecca Crockett

Jail Time For Fake Autograph Vendor?

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)


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About the Author


Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

4 Responses to Jail Time For Fake Autograph Vendor?

  1. avatar Geoff says:

    I’ve never bought an autograph on line but I did sell one to an on line deal called Gary ( his compant was called autographica). I sold him Neil Armstrong for about £600. He was a lovely chap and we met at a service station between our two homes to do the deal. He told me a thing or two about autograph dealing and the hazards of rogue traders. His advice was that if it seems dodgy it probably is and you should check out who you are buying from properly.

  2. avatar Christine says:

    I feel for the duped fans but on the other hand: I would never buy such items from an unknown internet source. In my view that’s always dodgy. Sorry Geoff, even if you were the seller! So, thankfully I have never experienced such a thing.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      No offence taken, I only sold an autograph I had to an autograph dealer who knew what he was doing. I’d had it checked out before so I knew it was genuine. Apparent there are all sorts of ways these guys can tell if it’s real or not from the type of picture, how the handwriting changes over the years or the way the signer always does some letter or something. I wouldn’t buy one because it’s not my sort of thing, but my theory and advice as a police officer is never buy anything from an unknown quantity (eg not Tesco, John Lewis, ITunes etc) that costs more than you are willing to right off if it doesn’t turn up or turns out to be fake.

  3. Also there are multiple reputable dealers at big shows like Autographica …

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