A Michigan man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after selling $43,354.94 of antique baseball card packs that he represented as original and unopened.
The packs were opened, had the valuable cards removed, and were resealed to look like new, unopened packs.
Bryan Kennert, 57, of Norton Shores, has engaged in schemes to sell fake sports cards and packs for at least 30 years, according to authorities.
Federal agents also found fake sports cards at his home that would have been worth $7.3 million if authentic.
“Kennert exploited unsuspecting victims for 30 years,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Consumers should have confidence that the products they buy are the real thing. My office will continue its hard work to root out consumer fraud.”
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Between April and October 2019, a couple purchased $43,354.94 of baseball card packs from Kennert that they later learned were tampered with.
The couple met Kennert after visiting an antique store in Muskegon, Michigan, where they saw packs of baseball cards that were listed for sale as original and unopened.
The couple researched the packs, determined the price was a bargain, and met with Kennert eight times from April to October 2019 to purchase packs.
When the couple went to have the packs authenticated and checked for condition, they were told the packs were resealed and nearly worthless.
After learning of the fraud, federal agents executed a search warrant at Kennert’s home. There, they found fake cards that would have been worth $7.3 million, alongside supplies to make fake card packs. Agents interviewed Kennert, who admitted making around $100,000 a year selling fake cards and packs.
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“I commend the hard work of our HSI Grand Rapids special agents in pursuing this case and bringing this fraudster to justice,” said HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Angie Salazar. “We will continue to dismantle these schemes, wherever we find them, to protect hard-working Americans. We encourage all members of our community to remain vigilant and scrutinize deals that seem too good to be true.”