These days, an LP featuring the genuine signatures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr is worth a pretty penny. So you can imagine that a collector might think it too good to be true if they found a mint condition example of such an item for a mere $700. And that's because it was too good to be true.
Chad Richard Baldwin
from Oregon was sentenced to two years in prison last Thursday after selling fake sports and Beatles
memorabilia to unsuspecting collectors on Craigslist
Baldwin, aged 41, altered letters out authenticity from legitimate companies to corroborate with the signatures that he forged onto albums by the Fab Four. Baldwin, who also forged sports memorabilia was brought to the attention of the police after a man who had spent $300 on a baseball signed by Roger Maris had noticed that the signature had been written in pencil before being traced over in ink.
Baldwin was convicted on two counts of identify theft in a plea agreement. In return, several charges were dismissed. He has now been sentenced to 26 months in prison and has been ordered to repay the two victims.
Baldwin was caught after selling a baseball with a forged signature to an informant during a Clackamas County Sheriff's Office investigation. That baseball had the same certification number as another fraudulent baseball that had been sold to a different victim. Upon raiding Baldwin's home, the police found a large stash of fraudulent memorabilia, including a number of baseballs with faked Babe Ruth signatures.
Baldwin had previously been convicted of robbing an armored car back in 1998, for which he was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison.
Have you ever fallen victim to buying fraudulent music memorabilia? Let us know in the comments?