Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced that California resident IRVING SCHEIB pled guilty to trying to sell a 19th century baseball glove for $200,000 that he falsely claimed was owned by Babe Ruth. SCHEIB surrendered today in New York and pled guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Irving Scheib wove a fantastical
tale in an attempt to exploit the iconic status of a legendary figure in the
world of baseball, Babe Ruth, to make a quick buck. The peddling of counterfeit
goods is a crime, and his plea today makes clear that it is a crime we will
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge
Janice K. Fedarcyk said: “Unlike a work of art or other rare collectible, an
item of sports memorabilia derives its value from its context. A baseball bat or
glove is not inherently valuable; a bat or glove used by a famous athlete is.
What the defendant attempted to sell was in fact a baseball glove. That the
glove ever belonged to Babe Ruth was a complete and elaborately constructed
According to the Complaint and
Information filed in Manhattan federal court, as well as statements made during
today’s court proceeding:
On January 12, 2012, SCHEIB purchased a 19th century baseball glove on eBay
for $750 which was described as an “1890’s Full Web Workman Baseball Mitt.” At
the time he bought the glove, SCHEIB knew that the glove had no connection to
Shortly after purchasing the glove on eBay, SCHEIB set out to resell the
glove by fraudulently claiming that it was used by baseball legend Babe Ruth.
Among other things, SCHEIB fraudulently told a sports memorabilia broker in
Nevada that the glove was a family heirloom that was obtained directly from Babe
Ruth. Specifically, he claimed that deceased Hollywood actor Robert Young, to
whom SCHEIB is related by marriage, obtained the glove from Ruth. SCHEIB also
sent fake documents to the memorabilia dealer corroborating this fabricated
provenance, and falsely claimed in a letter that the glove “was gifted to Babe
Ruth’s personal friend and Golden Era Star Robert Young in 1944. . .[and that
Ruth] he was so affectionate towards this glove that he slept with it under his
pillow at the orphanage.” These fake documents, in turn, were sent to an
individual interested in purchasing the glove (the “Buyer”). After paying for
the glove, the Buyer asked SCHEIB to notarize one of the letters attesting to
the provenance that was signed by SCHEIB and purportedly signed by SCHEIB’s
wife, who is Young’s granddaughter. SCHEIB refused to do so and the Buyer
accordingly returned the glove.
Subsequently, SCHEIB repeated the same fabricated provenance for the alleged
Babe Ruth glove over the telephone to someone he believed was another potential
buyer in New York. That potential buyer was in actuality an undercover
investigator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
SCHEIB, 50, of Bonsall, California, is charged with one count of wire fraud.
He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced by Judge
Patterson on October 30, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the work of the FBI.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jason P. Hernandez is in charge of the prosecution.
As an American, I have witnessed many events in our nation's history. Some of them great like placing a man on the moon. Some of them were dark and shameful events. No matter what happened, it is the people that make this nation great. Each looking to the future with optimism and looking to improve this nation for all. The United States is a great and wonderful nation and her people are her best asset. As Americans, we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
California Man Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Scheme to Sell Fake Babe Ruth Baseball Glove for $200,000
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