Washington Men Charged in $2 Million Card Fraud

Two men, Anthony Curcio and Iosif Bondarchuk, hailing from Washington state, found themselves in hot water after being charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Their scheme involved duping buyers into purchasing fraudulently graded sports and Pokémon cards, raking in over $2 million in the process.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York revealed that between 2022 and May 2024, Curcio and Bondarchuk cunningly orchestrated a plan to deceive customers by swapping lower-grade cards into cases misrepresented as higher-grade PSA 10 specimens, therefore boosting their values substantially.

One of the falsely presented items was a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card, claimed to be in gem mint condition, sold for a hefty $171,000 through an online marketplace in Manhattan. However, the selling platform, MySlabs, soon discovered the fraud and promptly reported it to PSA and law enforcement. Additional misrepresented cards included a 2009 Topps rookie card of Stephen Curry and a 1980 Topps card showcasing Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Julius Erving.

The fraudulent activities were not limited to just sports cards but also encompassed Pokémon cards. For example, a 1999 first-edition Venusaur card was fraudulently sold to an undercover law enforcement officer in Manhattan for $10,500, falsely labeled as a PSA 10.

Curcio and Bondarchuk were accused of peddling these cards through various channels such as card shops, shows, and online auctions. To make matters worse, Bondarchuk allegedly provided false contact information to dissatisfied buyers, attributing it to unassociated individuals when authenticity concerns arose.

If found guilty, both men could face a maximum of 20 years behind bars. The FBI and PSA’s Brand Protection division joined forces during the investigation, emphasizing the continued commitment to safeguard collectors and uphold the integrity of the trading card market.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the necessity for heightened awareness in the collectibles arena, cautioning against engaging in deceitful practices similar to those employed by Curcio and Bondarchuk.


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