Man Selling Fake Beatles Memorabilia Sentenced to Two Years in Prison
The memorabilia business can be fun for the fan and lucrative for the seller. But there are inherent pitfalls involved, as natives of the Pacific Northwest have recently learned. An Oregon man accused of selling fake Beatles and sports merchandise was recently sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Chad Richard Baldwin of Gresham, Ore., a suburb of Portland, was reportedly turning a healthy profit by altering certificates of authenticity and forging signatures. One person, according to the prosecutor, gave Baldwin $700 in exchange for Beatles album with fake autographs on them.
Baldwin was also trafficking in signed baseballs. During the investigation, an informant purchased a baseball from Baldwin whose certificate of authenticity bore the same number as a baseball he had previously sold to another customer. Police also discovered several baseballs with fake Babe Ruth signatures on them when they raided Baldwin's house.
But Baldwin wasn't only dealing in the identities of sports and music superstars. As part of a plea agreement that saw the counterfeiting charges dropped, he pleaded guilty to two counts of identity theft. He was sentenced to 26 months in prison and forced to repay the victims. Baldwin had previously served 7.5 years in prison for robbing an armored car in 1997.