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do not forward OFF this group that Xlist



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 8th 04, 09:57 PM
dahoov2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default do not forward OFF this group that Xlist

reason is for this email which I received today from guess...


Saw your weblink and noticed this statement.

"Another name to watch for is Donald Frangipani who was convicted of
forging COA's...."

You are just another misinformed asshole who is spreading false
rumors. Get your facts right before you get sued. Frangipani has never
been charged, let alone convicted of anything to do with the forgery
investigations.


So this guy knows, I've been round and round for months with the
threatened to be sued by a lawyer in NY. He kept harrassing me for
his phone number being on my website. I'd of removed it (although he
was delusional as the number for for a comic book company).... I'd of
removed it immediately had he of spoken to me in a nice manner. But
the very first email was nasty, rude, and he didn't sign his name. I
did some research found out all about him, and contacted the NY Bar
Association. Though they couldn't do anything about his harrassment,
they did tell me what I could do. I chose to contact his boss. I
forwarded him several of the saved emails and guess what? The number
remains and the guy has "let it go". I told his boss that when the
guy would ask me nicely and politely to remove it, I'd kindly oblige.
That's why it remains...he was a jerk.

As for this jerkwad, same goes for him. There are many articles on
the net about Mr. Franipani to support what I said. All I did was
mention he was named in these articles. Now, I think I'll go ahead,
put in the links, post to a few more places to warn people. His email
to me is indicative to his ethics and morals. Therefore his name will
remain.

But please do not give anyone information about the Xlist or other
such things outside of this group without asking first. Thanks. I
don't need other crap email like that.
Ads
  #2  
Old March 8th 04, 10:18 PM
dahoov2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

from www.beckett.com the copy of the lawsuit filing.


SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

LARS GENTRY; HENRY CAMP; MIKE ) Case No.
HYDER; JAMES CONBOY; WILLIAM )
POMMERENING; MICHAEL OSACKY, ) CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
on behalf of themselves and all others ) FOR NEGLIGENCE; VIOLATIONS OF
THE
similarly situated, ) BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS
) CODE; VIOLATIONS OF THE
Plaintiffs, ) AUTOGRAPHED SPORTS
) MEMORABILIA STATUTE; AND
vs. ) INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
)
EBAY, INC., a Delaware Corporation; )
ANGELO MARINO, an Individual dba )
FRONT PAGE ART, INC.; GLORIA )
MARINO, an Individual dba FRONT )
PAGE ART, INC.; GREGORY )
MARINO, an Individual dba FRONT )
PAGE ART, INC.; JOHN MARINO, an )
Individual dba FRONT PAGE ART, )
INC.; KATHLEEN MARINO, an )
Individual dba FRONT PAGE ART, )
INC.; WAYNE D. BRAY, an Individual )
dba W.W. SPORTSCARDS and )
SPORTS AND CELEBRITY )
AUTOGRAPH AUTHENTICATION; )
DONALD FRANGIPANI, an Individual; )
STANLEY FITZGERALD, an Individual )
dba STAN THE MAN MEMORABILIA )
and STAN'S SPORT MEMORABILIA; )
PHIL SCHEINMAN, an Individual dba )
SMOKEY'S SPORTSCARD, INC.; and )
DOES 1 through 100, Inclusive; )
)
Defendants. )
________________________________)
TABLE OF CONTENTS


I. NATURE OF THE ACTION 1

II. VENUE 1

III. PARTIES 2

IV. CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS 5

V. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS 6

A. Background: The Autographed Sports Memorabilia Industry 6

B. Operation Bullpen 6
1. The Forgers 7
2. The "Expert" Authenticators 8
3. The Large-Scale Dealers 9

C. eBay's Role 9
1. eBay's Practices are Unlawful and Against Public Policy 10
2. eBay Has Violated, And Continues to Violate, California's
Autographed Sports Memorabilia Statute 12

VI. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF 14

COUNT I Negligence 14
COUNT IIViolation Of 17200, Et Seq. Of The California Business &
Professions Code 15
COUNT IIIViolations Of 1739.7 Of The California Civil Code 17
COUNT IVInjunctive Relief 18

Plaintiffs, by their attorneys, allege upon information and belief the
claims set forth herein, based upon documentary evidence, the
investigation of their attorneys, the investigation of and complaints
filed by the United States Attorney General, website information
produced by the Defendants, interviews of potential witnesses, and
other persons knowledgeable about these events, as follows:
I.
NATURE OF THE ACTION

1. This is a class action brought on behalf of purchasers of forged
autographed sports memorabilia purchased through auctions on eBay,
from September 1, 1995 through April 12, 2000 (the "Class Period").
2. During the Class Period, the Individual Defendants were engaged in
a nationwide scheme to create and distribute forged sports
memorabilia, such as jerseys, shoes, bats, balls, "cuts" (commonly
known in the sports memorabilia industry as autographed pieces of
paper), hats, trading cards and photographs, purportedly signed by
professional athletes.
3. Most of the forged sports memorabilia was mass-marketed to
collectors through eBay, an Internet auction firm. During the Class
Period, most autographed sports memorabilia offered for sale on eBay
was forged. Yet, despite years of complaints and warnings from
collectors, dealers, authenticators and enforcement agencies, eBay
continued to auction forged sports memorabilia. eBay violated
California law by either failing to provide a certificate of
authenticity expressly warranting the items or failing to insure that
such a certificate was being provided by any other party to the
auction.
4. As a consequence of the defendants' conduct, plaintiffs and members
of the class have been damaged thereby.
II.
VENUE

5. Venue is proper because defendants transact business in this
district and because the impacts of defendants' unlawful acts in
producing and distributing forged sports memorabilia occurred in the
forum. Significant transactions relative to the underlying forgery and
sales scheme occurred in California. Most of the Individual Defendants
reside in San Diego County, California and created and/or distributed
most, if not all, of the forged sports memorabilia offered for sale on
eBay's online auction.
III.
PARTIES

6. Plaintiff Lars Gentry is an individual who resides in Illinois. Mr.
Gentry purchased a forged Roberto Clemente cut, a forged Roger Hornsby
cut, a forged Greg Maddux baseball, a forged Eddie Murray baseball, a
forged Wade Boggs baseball and a forged 3000 hit ball through eBay
auctions. As a consequence, Mr. Camp was damaged thereby.
7. Plaintiff Henry Camp is an individual who resides in Tennessee.
During the Class Period, Mr. Camp purchased a forged Roger Clemens
baseball, a forged Mike Schmidt baseball and a Reggie Jackson baseball
through eBay auctions. As a consequence, Mr. Camp was damaged thereby.
8. Plaintiff Mike Hyder is an individual who resides in Pennsylvania.
During the Class Period, Mr. Hyder purchased a forged Pee Wee Reese
baseball through an eBay auction. As a consequence, Mr. Hyder was
damaged thereby.
9. Plaintiff James Conboy is an individual who resides in New York.
During the Class Period, Mr. Conboy purchased a forged Ted Williams
baseball bat through an eBay auction. As a consequence, Mr. Hyder was
damaged thereby.
10. Plaintiff William Pommerening is an individual who resides in
California. During the Class Period, Mr. Pommerening purchased a
forged Ken Griffey, Jr. baseball through an eBay auction. As a
consequence, Mr. Pommerening was damaged thereby.
11. Plaintiff Michael Osacky is an individual who resides in Illinois.
During the Class Period, Mr. Osacky purchased a forged Joe Dimaggio
cut and a forged Ty Cobb cut through an eBay auction. As a
consequence, Mr. Osacky was damaged thereby.
12. Defendant eBay, Inc. is a Delaware public company with its
principal place of business at 2005 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 350, San
Jose, California, 95125. Since September 1995, eBay has been an
internet auctioneer. eBay is the largest online auctioneer in the
world.
13. Defendant Angelo Marino, doing business as "Front Page Art, Inc.",
is an individual who resides in San Diego, California. He has been
indicted by the U.S. Attorney General for his involvement in the
distribution of forged sports memorabilia.
14. Defendant Gloria Marino, doing business as "Front Page Art, Inc.",
is an individual who resides in San Diego, California. Defendant
Gloria Marino is the wife of Angelo Marino. She has been indicted by
the U.S. Attorney General for her involvement in the distribution of
forged sports memorabilia.
15. Defendant Gregory Marino, doing business as "Front Page Art,
Inc.", is an individual who resides in San Diego, California.
Defendant Gregory Marino is the son of Angelo and Gloria Marino. He
has been indicted by the U.S. Attorney General for his involvement in
the distribution of forged sports memorabilia.
16. Defendant John Marino, doing business as "Front Page Art, Inc.",
is an individual who resides in San Diego, California. Defendant John
Marino is the son of Angelo and Gloria Marino. He has been indicted by
the U.S. Attorney General for his involvement in the distribution of
forged sports memorabilia.
17. Defendant Kathleen Marino, doing business as "Front Page Art,
Inc.", is an individual who resides in San Diego, California.
Defendant Kathleen Marino is the wife of Gregory Marino. She has been
indicted by the U.S. Attorney General for her involvement in the
distribution of forged sports memorabilia.
18. Defendant Wayne D. Bray, doing business as "W.W. Sportscards" and
"Sports and Celebrity Autograph Authentication", is an individual who
resides in San Diego, California. In May 1999, Mr. Bray pleaded guilty
to charges that he was one of the main distributors and authenticators
of forged sports memorabilia produced by the Marino Defendants. At
that time, Mr. Bray also agreed to cooperate with a federal
investigation which resulted in overwhelming evidence of the
fraudulent scheme alleged herein.
19. Defendant Donald Frangipani is an individual who resides in
Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Frangipani, has been identified as a
co-conspirator in the fraudulent scheme alleged herein.
20. Defendant Stanley Fitzgerald, doing business as "Stan The Man
Memorabilia" and "Stan's Sports Memorabilia", is an individual who
resides in Caldwell, New Jersey. On April 12, 2000, Mr. Fitzgerald was
indicted by the U.S. Attorney General for his involvement in the sale
of forged sports memorabilia produced by the Marino Defendants.
21. Defendant Phil Scheinman, doing business as "Smokey's Sportscard,
Inc." is an individual who resides in Henderson, Nevada. In October
1999, as part of a federal investigation of the forged sports
memorabilia produced by the Marino Defendants, nearly all of Mr.
Scheinman's sports memorabilia was seized as forged sports
memorabilia.
22. Plaintiffs allege on information and belief that at all relevant
times DOE DEFENDANTS 1 through 100, inclusive, were the agents,
employees, accountants, attorneys, appraisers, brokers,
representatives, partners, and related or affiliated entities or
providers of services to or on behalf of their co-defendants, and in
doing the things hereinafter mentioned, were acting in the course and
scope of their agency, employment, or retention with the permission,
consent, authority and ratification of their co-defendants. Plaintiffs
are presently unaware of the true names and identities of those
defendants sued herein as DOE DEFENDANTS 1 through 100. Any reference
made to such defendant by specific name or otherwise, individually or
plurally, is also a reference to the actions or inactions of DOE
DEFENDANTS 1 through 100, inclusive.
///
IV.
CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

23. Plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to Section 382 of the Code
of Civil Procedure as a class action on behalf of all eBay purchasers
of forged sports memorabilia (the "Class") from September 1, 1995
through April 12, 2000 (the "Class Period").
24. Members of the Class are numerous and joinder is impracticable.
25. Common issues of fact and law predominate over individual issues,
including:
- whether eBay is a "dealer" under 1739.7 of the California Civil
Code and is required to provide a certificate of authenticity to
purchasers of autographed sports memorabilia;

- whether the Individual Defendants combined, agreed and conspired
among themselves to produce, distribute and sell forged sports
memorabilia;

- the existence and duration of the Individual Defendants' production,
distribution and sale of forged sports memorabilia;

- whether the Individual Defendants and each of them were members of,
or participants in the contract, combination and/or conspiracy alleged
herein;

- whether the Individual Defendants took steps to actively conceal
their conspiracy from Plaintiffs and members of the Class; and

- whether the defendants caused injury to the Plaintiffs and members
of the Class and, if so, the appropriate measure of damages.

26. Plaintiffs interests are typical of, and not antagonistic to, the
interests of the members of the Class.
27. Plaintiffs have retained competent counsel experienced with class
actions and they intend to vigorously prosecute this action.
28. A class action is superior to all methods for the fair and
efficient adjudication of this controversy. The size of the individual
damages is small in comparison to the complexity and national scope of
the defendants' operations and alleged misconduct. A class action is
the only method whereby Plaintiffs and members of the Class can
efficiently seek redress and obtain a uniform adjudication of their
claims. Plaintiffs do not anticipate difficulties with the management
of this action.
V.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

A. Background: The Autographed Sports Memorabilia Industry
29. The sale of sports memorabilia is a $750 million dollar a year
industry in the United States. The industry includes the buying,
selling, and trading of an almost endless variety of "sports
memorabilia", which includes items such as photographs, sports
equipment (such as baseballs, footballs, baseball bats and game
jerseys), pieces of paper (commonly known as "cuts") and similar
items.
30. The price of an item of autographed sports memorabilia depends on
a variety of factors. The success and popularity of the athletes
generally influence the price. In addition, the memorabilia of
deceased athletes ("vintage memorabilia") yields higher prices. In
addition, the rarity of the signature and the type of item autographed
influences the item's market value. For example, a Babe Ruth or Ty
Cobb autographed baseball would be worth thousands of dollars.
31. The autographed sports memorabilia industry is plagued by a large
number of false and fraudulent items. Industry experts estimate that
at least 50% and upwards of over 90% of all autographed sports
memorabilia in the marketplace contain forged signatures.
32. In order to assure buyers that the items they are purchasing are
genuine, autographed sports memorabilia is accompanied by a document
known as a "Certificate of Authenticity". A Certificate of
Authenticity is a document which accompanies an item of sports
memorabilia and warrants that the item is genuine.
B. Operation Bullpen
33. From at least 1993, the San Diego Field Office of the Federal
Bureau of Investigations ("FBI"), in conjunction with the United
States Attorney's Office for the Souther District of California, began
an investigation in the production, fraudulent authentication, and
distribution of counterfeit sports memorabilia known as "Operation
Bullpen".
34. The Operation Bullpen investigation uncovered a nationwide
criminal racketeering enterprise responsible for the distribution of
tens of millions of dollars worth of counterfeit memorabilia. During
the investigation, the FBI secured evidence that the most forged
sports memorabilia distributed throughout the United States is
traceable to a finite number of forgers, namely Defendants Angelo
Marino, Gloria Marino, Gregory Marino, John Marino and Kathleen Marino
(collectively, the "Marino Defendants").
35. The Operation Bullpen investigation also uncovered that the Marino
Defendants controlled a nationwide sales network of "expert"
authenticators and large-scale sports memorabilia dealers who sold
most of the forged memorabilia at auction on eBay.
1. The Forgers

36. The Marino Defendants were, and continue to be, engaged in an
on-going, wide-ranging and commercially successful scheme to defraud
consumers through the sale of forged sports memorabilia.
37. Generally, the Marino Defendants would purchase sporting good
items and photographs from retail stores. These items constituted the
raw materials of the fraudulent scheme. These items would then be
brought to the house of Angelo Marino and Gloria Marino for the
addition of forged signatures.
38. The Marino Defendants maintained a "black book" of representations
of authentic signatures of professional athletes. The Marino
Defendants used the black book as a guide to forge signatures of
various athletes. For example, the Marino Defendants forged the
vintage signatures of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Micky Mantle and
Joe Dimaggio. The Marino Defendants also forged the signatures of
current athletes such as Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, Michael
Jordan and Kobe Bryant. In order to deceive consumers and make an item
appear the appropriate age, the Marino Defendants also utilized
various techniques, such as the "dipping" of baseballs.
39. Each of the Marino Defendants assisted in the production of forged
sports memorabilia in some way. Defendant Angelo Marino had the
primary responsibility for organizing the fraud scheme and
distribution of the fraudulent items to a nationwide sales network.
Defendant Gloria Marino sets prices and handled cash flow. Defendant
Gregory Marino was primarily responsible for the falsification of
signatures. Defendant John Marino procured the raw materials for the
scheme and assisted in the distribution of fraudulent items. Defendant
Kathleen Marino prepared the items for forged signatures and took
purchase orders from dealers.
2. The "Expert" Authenticators
40. The role of the authenticator was extremely important to the
success of the Marino Defendants' fraudulent scheme. Not only did an
authenticator's Certificate of Authenticity ("COA") induce a consumer
to purchase an item, the COA also allowed co-conspiring dealers to
feign, or maintain, ignorance of the fraudulent nature of the item
they were selling. That is, on the few occasions when an unsuspecting
buyer discovered the fraud, the dealer claimed that he relied on the
accuracy of the COA and was unaware of the forged signature contained
on the item.
41. In reality, however, the COA's were mass-produced forms and
co-conspiring dealers knew that the COA's were fraudulent.
42. Defendant Wayne Bray was employed to mass produce fraudulent COA's
and Defendant Donald Frangipani was employed to render his fraudulent
"expert" opinion as to numerous signatures. In reality, however, both
knew that the Marino Defendants were forging the signatures of
professional athletes.
43. During the Class Period, thousands of items of forged sports
memorabilia have been sold on eBay accompanied by COA's and "expert"
opinions produced by Defendants Wayne Bray and Donald Frangipani.
3. The Large-Scale Dealers
44. The Marino Defendants sold most of their forged sports memorabilia
to a number of large-scale dealers, each of whom had knowledge of the
fraudulent nature of the items. The largest dealers included
Defendants Stanley Fitzgerald and Phil Scheinman.
45. Defendant Stanley Fitzgerald sold the forged sports memorabilia to
consumers through his entities known as "Stan's Sports Memorabilia"
and "Stan The Man Sports Memorabilia". Most of Defendant Fitzgerald's
offers and sales were effected through eBay auctions.
46. Defendant Phil Scheinman sold the forged sports memorabilia to
consumers through his entity known as "Smokey's Sportscard, Inc.".
Most of Defendant Scheinman's offers and sales were effected through
eBay auctions.
C. eBay's Role
47. eBay was formed in September 1995 and operated its online auction
service under the name of "Auction Web". In September 1997, eBay
renamed its auction service "eBay". eBay has issued hundreds of press
releases describing itself as an "auction" service and "auctioneer".
48. During the Class Period, eBay auctioneered thousands of items of
forged sports memorabilia created by the Marino Defendants. A
substantial amount of the items were accompanied by fraudulent COA's
and "expert" opinions produced by Defendants Bray and Frangipani.
49. As early as 1996, eBay began to receive an alarming number of
consumer complaints that forged sports memorabilia was being auctioned
on eBay by Defendants Fitzgerald, Schenman, and others. When eBay
failed to revoke the user privileges of Defendants Fitzgerald,
Schenman, and others, consumers complained to various government
agencies. From as early as 1996, eBay received a number of warnings
from government agencies that a substantial amount of forged sports
memorabilia was being auctioned on eBay.
50. Around the same time, eBay began to receive consumer complaints
and government warnings also about the fraudulent nature of the COA's
and "expert" opinions of Defendants Bray, Frangipani, and others.
51. During the Class Period, eBay has received at least hundreds of
complaints and warnings from consumers, dealers and government
agencies. Yet, eBay ignored the warnings and allowed the forged sports
memorabilia scheme to continue for the sole purpose of reaping
millions of dollars in profits for eBay.
1. eBay's Practices are Unlawful and Against Public Policy

52. In September 1995, eBay pioneered the online auction platform and
rapidly expanded it to become the world's largest online auctioneer.
eBay gained consumer confidence in its services by purporting to
maintain several "safety" programs designed to protect consumers in
transactions with unknown dealers.
53. For example, eBay designed a "Feedback Forum" which purportedly
allowed dealers and consumers to rate a transaction as "Positive",
"Negative" or "Neutral" sales experience. A dealer or consumer who
achieves a designated level of Positive Feedback is awarded a "Star".
54. In addition to the Feedback Forum, eBay designed a "Power Sellers"
endorsement, which purportedly is an award given to select eBay
dealers based on the volume of sales and Positive Feedback ratings.
55. In reality, however, eBay's "safety" programs have contributed to
enormous damage to the autographed sports memorabilia consumers. For
example, the Feedback Forum allows anyone to rate a dealer, even if
there has never been a sales transaction between the parties. Thus,
Fitzgerald and Scheinman have at least hundreds of Positive Feedback
ratings which are unrelated to any sales transactions. Most, if not
all, of these Positive Feedback ratings are self-generated or provided
by other co-conspiring dealers.
56. Nevertheless, Defendants Fitzgerald and Scheinman have been
awarded eBay Stars, giving consumers a false sense of confidence in
these dealers.
57. Furthermore, eBay has endorsed both Defendants Fitzgerald and
Scheinman as eBay "Power Sellers", adding to consumers false sense of
confidence in these dealers.
58. Although access to eBay's services is free, consumers who wish to
place auction bids and make sales purchases are required to register
with eBay and subscribe to a "User Agreement".
59. eBay's User Agreement and its policies in enforcing the terms of
its User Agreement are designed to discourage defrauded consumers from
seeking redress.
60. For example, term 3.1 states in relevant part: "Venue. Our site
acts as the venue for sellers to list items (or, as appropriate,
solicit offers to buy) and buyers to bid on items. We are not involved
in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers." However, this
provision is a mischaracterization of eBay's role. Since eBay provides
a venue for auctions, and functions in the role as an auctioneer, it
is involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers.
61. For example, term 5.3 states in relevant part: "Fraud. Without
limiting any other remedies, eBay may suspend or terminate your
account if you are found (by conviction, settlement, insurance or
escrow investigation, or otherwise) to have engaged in fraudulent
activity in connection with our site." This provision is intended to
give consumers a sense of confidence in eBay's services. However,
during the Class Period, eBay's has ignored hundreds of complaints
about forged sports memorabilia being auctioned on its site. eBay has
ignored complaints about the all the individual Defendants who are
parties to this suit.
62. And finally, term 17 states in relevant part: "Arbitration. Any
controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement...
shall be arbitrated on an individual basis, and shall not be
consolidated in any arbitration with any claim or controversy of any
other party." eBay is well-aware that Plaintiffs and many members of
the Class have incurred actual damages in an amount less than $1,000
and eBay includes this provision with the intent to insulate itself
from liability. Plaintiffs and the members of the Class cannot afford
to seek redress in individual litigation. The Class' claims for
redress are the quintessential types of claims prosecuted as a class
action and eBay's attempt to evade its responsibility by means of this
provision is unconscionable.
63. eBay has facilitated, and continues to facilitate, a safe-haven
for the unscrupulous dealers perpetrating the forged memorabilia
scheme. eBay continues to facilitate the scheme because it is
motivated by profits, to the detriment of consumers. eBay's revenues
are generated from "Placement Fees" and "Success Fees" paid by
dealers. Placement Fees are fees charged to dealers for listing an
item for auction. Success Fees are percentage fees charged to dealers
when an item is sold.
64. eBay has earned, and continues to earn, fees each time an item of
forged sports memorabilia is offered for sale and earns additional
fees each time an item of forged sports memorabilia is sold.
Consequently, eBay has little incentive to discontinue the forged
sports memorabilia scheme.
2. eBay Has Violated, And Continues to Violate, California's
Autographed Sports Memorabilia Statute

65. In 1992, the California legislature enacted the Autographed Sports
Memorabilia ("ASM") statute in response to growing concerns about
fraud and forgery in the sports memorabilia industry. The ASM statute
generally forbids dealers from representing an item "as a collectible
if it was not autographed by the sports personality in his or her
hand." Under the ASM statute, a "Dealer" includes:
[A]n auctioneer who sells collectibles at a public auction, and also
includes persons who are consignors or representatives or agents of
auctioneers. See, Cal. Civil Code 1739.7(a)(4).
Thus, since eBay is an auctioneer, it is a dealer of sports
memorabilia.
66. The ASM statute requires dealers to provide prescribed COA with
signed sports memorabilia. The statute states in relevant part:
(b) Whenever a dealer, in selling or offering to sell to a consumer a
collectible in or from this state, provides a description of that
collectible as being autographed, the dealer shall furnish a
certificate of authenticity to the consumer at the time of sale. The
certificate of authenticity shall be in writing and shall be signed by
the dealer or his or her authorized agent. The certificate of
authenticity shall be in at least 10-point boldface type and shall
contain the dealer's true legal name and street address. Each
certificate of authenticity shall do all of the following:
(2) Describe the collectible and specify the name of the sports
personality who autographed it.
(3) Either specify the purchase price and date of sale or be
accompanied by a separate invoice setting forth that information.
(4) Contain an express warranty, which shall be conclusively presumed
to be part of the bargain, of the authenticity of the collectible.
This warranty shall not be negated or limited by reason of the lack of
words such as "warrant" or "guarantee" or because the dealer does not
have a specific intent or authorization to make the warranty or
because any statement relevant to the collectible is or purports to
be, or is capable of being, merely the dealer's opinion. See, Cal.
Civil Code 1739.7(b).

Despite the express requirement to provide a detailed COA with
autographed sports memorabilia, eBay has never complied with this
requirement of the ASM statute. In addition, although eBay knew, or
should have known, that the Individual Defendants and other sports
memorabilia dealers were required to comply with this requirement of
the ASM statute, eBay has never taken steps to ensure that the
Individual Defendants and other dealers would comply with this
requirement of the ASM statute.
67. Furthermore, the statute states in relevant part:
Any consumer injured by the failure of a dealer to provide a
certificate of authenticity containing the information required by
this section, or by a dealer's furnishing of a certificate of
authenticity that is false, shall be entitled to recover, in addition
to actual damages, a civil penalty in an amount equal to 10 times
actual damages, plus court costs, reasonable attorney's fees,
interest, and expert witness fees, if applicable, incurred by the
consumer in the action. Cal. Civil Code 1739.7(g)

Although Plaintiffs and members of the Class have demanded
satisfaction from eBay for failing to provide a COA and/or for
furnishing a COA that is false, eBay has failed to refund any monies.
68. eBay has failed to comply with the requirements of the ASM
statute. Despite the fact that eBay has been notified that the
individual Defendants in this action have been identified as part of a
fraudulent scheme, eBay continues to sell the forged sports
memorabilia in furtherance of the nationwide scheme.
VI.
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

COUNT I
NEGLIGENCE
(Against All Defendants)

69. Plaintiffs and the Class repeat and reallege each of the preceding
paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.
70. Defendants owed to Plaintiffs and the Class a duty of reasonable
care. Defendants breached their respective duties of care to
Plaintiffs and the Class in that defendants were negligent in the
performance of the acts described above and as a result committed
negligent acts and omissions as set forth above. Such negligence
included, among other things, that the Individual Defendants
misrepresented the signed sports memorabilia as authentic and failed
to disclose that, in fact, they were selling forged sports
memorabilia. In addition, eBay misrepresented the safety of purchasing
items from the Individual Defendants when, in fact, the Individual
Defendants were selling forged sports memorabilia. Moreover, eBay
failed to provide Plaintiffs and the Class COA's for sports
memorabilia sold through its services. Furthermore, eBay knew or
should have known that the Individual Defendants and other sports
memorabilia dealers were conducting unlawful practices. Yet, eBay
failed to ensure that the Individual Defendants and other sports
memorabilia dealers comply with the law. Consequently, defendants
failed to exercise due care.
71. As a proximate result of the defendants' negligent conduct,
Plaintiff and the Class have sustained and will sustain substantial
economic losses and other general and specific damages, in an amount
to be determined according to proof at trial.
COUNT II
VIOLATION OF 17200, ET SEQ.
OF THE CALIFORNIA BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE
(Against All Defendants)

72. Plaintiffs and the Class repeat and reallege each of the preceding
paragraphs as though fully set forth herein. The claims asserted
herein arise out of the same nucleus of operative facts as those
alleged under the preceding Count.
73. California Business & Professions Code 17200 prohibits acts of
unfair competition, which include "any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent
business act or practice."
74. During the Class Period, the Defendants misrepresented the forged
sports memorabilia offered for sale in eBay auctions. Such conduct was
prohibited by California Civil Code 1572, 1709 and 1710, and
California Penal Code 395 as well as principles of common law.
Accordingly, defendants have violated Business & Professions Code
17200's proscription against engaging in an unlawful business act or
practice.
75. Defendants were aware, or should have been aware, at all relevant
times, of the fraudulent nature of the sports memorabilia. Although
material, Defendants failed to disclose this information to Plaintiffs
and the Class.
76. Defendants' misrepresentations and nondisclosures of material
facts during the Class Period also constitute a fraudulent business
act or practice within the meaning of Business & Professions Code
17200. Defendants' conduct had a tendency to deceive the consumers
because of Defendants' concerted efforts to represent the forged
sports memorabilia as genuine.
77. Defendants' use of various forms of marketing to falsely
advertise, call attention to, endorse, or give publicity to the sale
of forged sports memorabilia by, inter alia, untrue and/or deceptive
representations as to the nature and quality of the sports memorabilia
and the level of trust and confidence in dealers selling forged sports
memorabilia was false or misleading advertising within the meaning of
Business & Professions Code 17500, et seq., because defendants
either knew or reasonably should have known that such advertising was
untrue and/or misleading. Necessarily, defendants' violation of
17500, et seq. also constitutes a violation of Business & Professions
Code 17200, et seq.
78. Accordingly, because Defendants have committed unlawful, unfair
and/or fraudulent business acts or practices in violation of Business
& Professions Code 17200, and engaged in false and misleading
advertising in violation of Business & Professions Code 17500, et
seq., plaintiffs, the members of the Class and the general public are
entitled to relief under 17203 and 17535 which may include (1)
orders or judgments enjoining defendants from engaging in further
unlawful, unfair or fraudulent acts or practices, or (2) orders of
disgorgement or restitution to prevent defendants from retaining any
money or property -- including profits from illegal insider trading --
obtained by means of their unlawful, unfair or fraudulent acts or
practices. Plaintiffs additionally request that such money or property
be impounded by this Court, or that an asset freeze or constructive
trust be imposed upon such revenues and profits, to avoid dissipation
and/or fraudulent transfers or concealment of such monies by
defendants. Plaintiffs, the members of the Class and the general
public may be irreparably harmed and/or denied an effective and
complete remedy if such an order is not granted.
COUNT III
VIOLATIONS OF 1739.7
OF THE CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE
(Against eBay)

79. Plaintiffs and the Class repeat and reallege each of the preceding
paragraphs as though fully set forth herein. The claims asserted
herein arise out of the same nucleus of operative facts as those
alleged under the preceding Counts.
80. eBay is a "dealer" as that term is defined in 1739.7 of the
California Civil Code. Plaintiff and the Class members are
"consumers," as that term is defined in 1739.7 of the California
Civil Code. The sports memorabilia complained of herein are
"collectibles" as defined in 1739.7 of the California Civil Code.
81. During the Class Period, eBay has sold or offered to sell forged
sports memorabilia in violation of 1739.7 of the California Civil
Code. Among other things, eBay has failed to provide consumers with a
COA containing the required disclosures and express warranties for
autographed collectibles auctioned through its services, has auctioned
forged collectibles, and has failed to properly refund or rebate
losses suffered by consumers.
82. Additionally, during the Class Period, eBay aided and abetted the
Individual Defendants in violating the requirements of 1739.7 of the
California Civil Code, while knowing that the Individual Defendants
were not providing the required COA's.
83. Plaintiff and other Class members have been directly and
proximately damaged by eBay's practices in an amount to be determined
at trial, but currently estimated to be in excess of 10 million
dollars for Plaintiffs and the members of the Class as a whole.
84. Plaintiffs as an individuals are entitled to ten times their
actual damages pursuant to 1739.7 of the California Civil Code, and
together with the other Class members, is entitled to any additional
relief that may be afforded by the California Rules of Civil
Procedure.
COUNT IV
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
85. Plaintiffs and the Class repeat and reallege each of the preceding
paragraphs as though fully set forth herein. The claims asserted
herein arise out of the same nucleus of operative facts as those
alleged under the preceding Counts.
86. eBay's actions as complained of herein have existed and persisted
since September 1995. On the date of the filing of this action, a
search on eBay's website resulted in over one thousand items of forged
sports memorabilia listed for auction. In addition, over one hundred
items of forged sports memorabilia created and distributed by the
Individual Defendants are listed for auction. Unless an injunction is
entered against eBay requiring that it either refrain from selling
forged sports memorabilia through its services and capabilities, or
alternatively, that it invest adequate resources to restrict the sale
of forged sports memorabilia, Plaintiff and the Class members will
suffer irreparable harm.
87. The threatened injury to Plaintiff and the Class members in the
absence of an injunction outweighs any potential harm such an
injunction would cause to eBay.
88. Because of the growing significance of the Internet, and
specifically Internet auctions (which currently accounts for nearly
half of all commercial transactions on the Internet), the grant of
such injunctive relief is necessary to protect and promote the
integrity and safety of commerce on the Internet and the general
economy of the United States. Accordingly, the relief requested will
promote the public interest in addition to the interests of Plaintiff
and the Class members.
Dated: April 19, 2000 KRAUSE & KALFAYAN



____________________________
James C. Krause, Esq.
Attorney for Plaintiffs
///

OF COUNSEL:

Burton H. Finkelstein, Esq.
FINKELSTEIN, THOMPSON & LOUGHRAN
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, N.W.
Suite 601
Washington, DC 20007
TEL: (202) 337-8000


On Mon, 08 Mar 2004 16:57:28 -0500, dahoov2 wrote:

reason is for this email which I received today from guess...


Saw your weblink and noticed this statement.

"Another name to watch for is Donald Frangipani who was convicted of
forging COA's...."

You are just another misinformed asshole who is spreading false
rumors. Get your facts right before you get sued. Frangipani has never
been charged, let alone convicted of anything to do with the forgery
investigations.


So this guy knows, I've been round and round for months with the
threatened to be sued by a lawyer in NY. He kept harrassing me for
his phone number being on my website. I'd of removed it (although he
was delusional as the number for for a comic book company).... I'd of
removed it immediately had he of spoken to me in a nice manner. But
the very first email was nasty, rude, and he didn't sign his name. I
did some research found out all about him, and contacted the NY Bar
Association. Though they couldn't do anything about his harrassment,
they did tell me what I could do. I chose to contact his boss. I
forwarded him several of the saved emails and guess what? The number
remains and the guy has "let it go". I told his boss that when the
guy would ask me nicely and politely to remove it, I'd kindly oblige.
That's why it remains...he was a jerk.

As for this jerkwad, same goes for him. There are many articles on
the net about Mr. Franipani to support what I said. All I did was
mention he was named in these articles. Now, I think I'll go ahead,
put in the links, post to a few more places to warn people. His email
to me is indicative to his ethics and morals. Therefore his name will
remain.

But please do not give anyone information about the Xlist or other
such things outside of this group without asking first. Thanks. I
don't need other crap email like that.


  #3  
Old March 8th 04, 10:54 PM
Gummby3
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

It would be nice to see Ebay get it's hide nailed to the wall when/if this
is settled. I'm curious as to how much the website will change in regards
to how it handles business and to the handling of customer complaints. What
started out as a good idea has morphed into nothing more than a profit
machine. As the lawsuit states, Ebay has been warned of illegal activities
so much that they stopped accepting direct feedback from their customers. I
do hope that is brought to light during the suit too. If someone know that
something has a false signature, they should be allowed to communicate
directly with the buyer to warn them. What Ebay has done is eliminate that
option. They are saying "screw you" to the victim/possible victim and hello
to the dollar signs. As I said, I hope Ebay gets nailed to the wall.

--

Mike
Gummby3

~~ Star Collector ~~
www.star-collector.net
Autograph Authentication Guide
www.star-collector.net/authenticationguide.htm

"dahoov2" wrote in message
...
from www.beckett.com the copy of the lawsuit filing.


SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO


SNIP



---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.598 / Virus Database: 380 - Release Date: 3/1/2004


  #4  
Old March 9th 04, 12:34 AM
dahoov2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I hear ya Mike and do agree. But too, I wonder what ramifications it
will have for us.

On Mon, 8 Mar 2004 16:54:59 -0600, "Gummby3"
wrote:

It would be nice to see Ebay get it's hide nailed to the wall when/if this
is settled. I'm curious as to how much the website will change in regards
to how it handles business and to the handling of customer complaints. What
started out as a good idea has morphed into nothing more than a profit
machine. As the lawsuit states, Ebay has been warned of illegal activities
so much that they stopped accepting direct feedback from their customers. I
do hope that is brought to light during the suit too. If someone know that
something has a false signature, they should be allowed to communicate
directly with the buyer to warn them. What Ebay has done is eliminate that
option. They are saying "screw you" to the victim/possible victim and hello
to the dollar signs. As I said, I hope Ebay gets nailed to the wall.


  #5  
Old March 9th 04, 03:45 AM
Bcoton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Whoa...ebay themselves used to have a huge thing on DF and so did the UACC.
Where did this guy get off? I am glad you took care of the matter but that was
very vicious.


 




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