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Sports Collectors Digest January 23, 1998

By Bob Wimmer

   A Windsor, Ontario, man was allegedly selling forged Sergei Fedorov signed 8x10 photos at the Mt. Clemens Trade Center recently. The above signature is a fake.

This is an authentic Sergei Fedorov autograph
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While at the Mt.Clemens Gibraltar Trade Center show, dealer Ken Lindsay (left) noticed what he knew were questionable Sergei Fedorov autographs on 8x10 photographs. Lindsay contacted Fedorov's agent Brent Charnock (right), who videotaped Fedorov's statement in which the Red Wings holdout stated the signatures on the photos were forged. Because of their efforts, a Windsor, Ontario man was arrested for selling the alleged fake autographs.

Detroit Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov's autograph is a hot commodity in the Detroit area.

Fedorov, who is holding out because of a contract squabble, has not done a show or signing since winning the Cup last June.

With his absence, the supply of Fedorov autographs has dried up, until recently. Simeron Matijasevic - a Windsor, Ontario, tool and die worker - allegedly forged Fedorov's autograph on photographs and sold them to dealers for $10-$15 at the Mt.Clemens Gibraltar Trade Center recently.

Some dealers didn't stop to think why Matijasevic had so many Fedorov autographs. Soon the allegedly forged autographed photos were seen at many booths throughout the show floor.

However, dealer Ken Lindsay did not fall for the scam. Lindsay who believed the autographs weren't authentic, warned the dealers of the situation, but some did not believe him.

Lindsay bought a few of the questionable autographed photos from dealers and called Fedorov's business agent, Brent Charnock. Later, Charnock and Lindsay went to Fedorov's house with the allegedly forged photos and a video camera. Fedorov said on videotape the autographs were phonies. He then signed his autograph next to the questionable signatures.

When the duo returned to the show on Sunday with the evidence, they found Matijasevic walking the show floor offering the questionable signatures once again.

The Mt.Clemens police were called and Matijasevic was arrested. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In addition, Lindsay said there were Steve Yzerman phonies allegedly involved, along with questionable autographed cards of Vladimir Konstantinov that were allegedly printed after his June 13 automobile accident. Obviously, Konstantinov has not been able to sign since the accident.

Because of his efforts, an official of the Gibraltar Trade Center and other prominent dealers and collectors have applauded Lindsay's efforts and called him a hero.

Some collectors and dealers questioned why some dealers bought the allegedly forged photos without knowing who they were dealing with. Some dealers even got letters of authenticity with their autographs.

The hobby needs more honest dealers like Lindsay who have the guts to go after the scam artists who are threatening the whole autograph segment of the hobby.









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