Local Police Reports

CEO of Sports Collectibles Company Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud

Rockford, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Osseo, Minn., man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Rockford to charges of mail fraud. STEVEN JENSEN, 40, of Osseo, Minn., CEO of Vintage Sports Authentics, LLC, admitted he schemed to market and sell fraudulent sports memorabilia represented as “game used,” or worn in an actual game.

According to a written plea agreement, from July 2007 through July 2011, Jensen advertised game used jerseys for sale. The jerseys were advertised in Vintage Internet auctions as having been game used by players such as Alex Rodriguez. Jensen sold the jerseys through his company Vintage Sports (doing business as Vintage Authentics, LLC), knowing the jerseys were not game used. Jensen’s sentencing hearing is scheduled at 9:00 a.m. on May 29, 2012.

Jensen was arrested last August in Rosemont, Ill., where he was attending a sports collectors’ convention, on criminal charges that were initially filed in federal court in Manhattan. The case was transferred earlier this month to the U.S. District Court in Rockford for Jensen’s guilty plea and sentencing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in New York handled the case initially and assisted with the resolution.

Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as restitution to the victims. The Court may also impose a fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater. The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The guilty plea was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Ronald J. Verrochio, the Inspector in Charge fo the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.