Spalding/NYPL
McGreevy/BPL
Baseball Hall of Fame
Wills fakes & Frauds
RECOVERED
ITEMS/ARTIFACTS

Welcome to Hauls of Shame
This site is dedicated to investigative reporting related to the soon-to-be published book, Hauls of Shame. While the book deals with the wide ranging problems of fraud and corruption in the baseball collectibles and auction industries, its primary focus is on the mysteries of the considerable thefts of rare, historical baseball artifacts from the collections of the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hauls of Shame publishes breaking news, book excerpts, original essays and interviews with historians and those familiar with the investigations that have spurred earnest recovery efforts by the FBI, individual collectors and institutions. We offer an educational resource for the baseball collecting and research communities as the investigations yield evidence of items both suspected or confirmed as missing from the research archives of: NYPL's "Spalding Baseball Collection;" BPL's "McGreevey Baseball Picture Collection;" and the HOF's "August Herrmann Papers Collection."

Breaking News
Feds Confirm REA’s Rob Lifson Was Informant Against Mastro; Former Partners-In-Crime Slated To Testify At Trial Of Auction House IT-Guy (Part 7 of 10) (UPDATE) Boehm Pleads Guilty-Fraud May Extend To Rosa Parks Bus

By Peter J. Nash
August 22, 2014

(Scroll to bottom for Update)

The release of the witness list for the upcoming trial of former Mastro Auctions employee, William Boehm, confirmed what Hauls of Shame has been  reporting for the past few years —that REA auction president, Rob Lifson, was one of the government’s key witnesses in the prosecution of its case against Bill Mastro. The appearance of Lifson’s name on the list also confirms that he cooperated with the Feds and informed on Mastro after shill-bidding schemes were uncovered during an investigation of Ohio political fundraiser Tom Noe in 2006.  Lifson may be called to testify against Mastro’s former IT director but he may also be a less than stellar witness with his own checkered past and his having presided over the fraud committed at the auction house when he was still a Director of the company with Mastro.

By the time the evidence of the auction house shill-bidding was uncovered in the 2006 “Coin-Gate” investigation, Lifson had already left MastroNet.com and proceeded to rat out Mastro by turning over additional evidence that further implicated his old friend with the Feds.  Providing additional motivation for Lifson to turn on Mastro was the fact the former hobby heavyweight had cashed out and sold Mastro Auctions to “Flip” Filipowski for close to $5 million after buying out Lifson for what one source says was just a “few hundred thousand dollars.”

Accusations of shill-bidding at MastroNet had been made against both Mastro and Lifson as early as April of 2002 and at that time Lifson denied the charges to this writer calling the allegations “stupid” and added that he and Mastro ran “the cleanest auction on the face of the earth.”  But as Mastro’s recent plea agreement describes in great detail, the auction house operated by Mastro, Lifson and Doug Allen was already shill-bidding customers like Tom Noe in its Spring 2002 Americana auction.  Noe had purchased over $1 million in memorabilia from MastroNet and the plea agreement also states that in the Spring of 2002 the auction house “used a shill account belonging to a friend of an auction house employee to drive up individual (Tom Noe’s) ceiling bids.”

Now, nearly twelve years after their company’s shill-bidding schemes were in full effect, the two former friends and hobby lifers are set to appear with their former employee, Brian Marren, to help the US Attorneys convict ex-Mastro IT director William Boehm who is alleged to have lied to FBI agents about his role in the destruction of auction bidding records.  The Mastro-Lifson reunion is an unlikely pairing to say the least as Mastro’s last public statement regarding Lifson appeared in Dave Jamieson’s 2010 book Mint Condition where he said, “Lifson and I were best friends at one point and we hate each other now.”  Lifson, on the other hand, has been gloating and reveling in his former partner’s demise and sending out emails to associates with the plea agreements from the Mastro case.

Boehm’s attorneys will likely challenge the credibility of Mastro, Marren and other Mastro employees who cut plea deals or avoided prosecution by turning on others, including Boehm.  Mastro is cooperating in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence while Marren was given immunity in the case for his full cooperation with the government.  That being said, how credible will Lifson’s testimony be in the government’s case based upon his own past statements defending Mastro against allegations of criminal activity that were made as early as 2002 when both men were still running MastroNet.com?

Read the full post




Pawn Stars Expert Steve Grad Faked His Own Bio & Committed Perjury In Collectors Universe Lawsuit; Says He Was Trained By Mentor & Crook Bill Mastro; Allegations Of Fraud At PSA/DNA (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash August 1, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for update) The History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars was the scene of one of the most embarrassing blunders in authentication history when PSA/DNA’s alleged expert, John Reznikoff, told millions of viewers that a Godfather movie script was signed by Al Pacino when it [...]
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Heritage Is Selling An FBI-Documented Fake At The Cleveland National; 1882 Championship Watch Was Created By Ex-Cincy Reds Batboy; Experts Say A Signed Gehrig-Day Ticket Is Bogus & Matty Letter Was Stolen From Baseball HOF (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash July 24, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for Updates) When the authenticity of Babe Ruth’s alleged 1923 World Series pocket watch and a bogus letter attributed to 19th century HOFer John M. Ward were questioned earlier this year, Heritage Auctions sports director, Chris Ivy, told Hauls of Shame, “Heritage would never [...]
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Mastro Sentencing Postponed As Theotikos Set For Guilty Plea; Plea Agreement Details Shill-Bidding Scheme; Victim Says Auction Was “Screwing” Collectors (Part 6 of 10)
By Peter J. Nash July 18, 2014 Bill Mastro leaves a Chicago courthouse after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud tied to a massive shill-bidding scheme (Chicago Tribune Photo) When former hobby kingpin Bill Mastro appeared in a Chicago Federal courthouse last October and plead guilty to one count of mail [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: NY Daily News & O’Keeffe Off-Base In Nash-Bash; A Suspect Mickey Sig On Esken’s Mantle Glove; Goldin Says 1916 Ruth Contract Is Missing; Ty Cobb Fakes Still Fooling Spence & PSA/DNA
By Peter J. Nash July 11, 2014 Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News (top left) published another inaccurate report; Ken Goldin (bottom left) is offering several suspect items in his Babe Ruth anniversary auction. -The New York Daily News I-Team and Michael O’Keeffe devoted a full page of newspaper coverage to [...]
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Operation Bambino: Investigation Reveals PSA & Spence Authenticated Babe Ruth Fakes For Past 15 Years; Experts Say Forgery-Ring Created $44,000 HOF Plaque & $75,000 Signed Bat (Part 6) (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash June 18, 2014 (Scroll to Bottom for Update) It’s been 100 years since Babe Ruth made his debut in a Major League uniform but he remains the most revered athlete in American sports history.  The “Bambino” is still so popular that collectors are shelling out millions of dollars and [...]
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Grad & Spence Authenticated A Modern Replica Ball As Grey Flannel’s Premier Ruth & Gehrig Signed Ball; Autographs Are Facsimiles Of Forgeries But Russek Still Selling Fake (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash June 12, 2014 Jimmy Spence and Steve Grad authenticated a modern replica ball as a Ruth-Gehrig original in Richard Russek's current Grey Flannel sale. (For UPDATES scroll to bottom) If Grey Flannel and Rich Russek needed some additional information to pull the bogus Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig ball appearing as a [...]
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Anyone with information that can aid the recovery efforts
 may contact us at:
tips@haulsofshame.com

 We also suggest that those with important information regarding the thefts from the
BPL, NYPL and Hall of Fame collections contact the FBI at:
(For BPL: Boston@ic.fbi.gov)
(For NYPL: ny1@ic.fbi.gov )
(For Hall of Fame contact the FBI's Albany, NY office at 518-465-7551)

The services of Hauls of Shame and Peter J. Nash as a consultant and expert are available to collectors, auction houses, institutions, legal representatives and law enforcement. 
To inquire about details contact us at: info@haulsofshame.com