Joshua Aaron Shores, 41, of Bel Air, Maryland and also of Ocean City, Maryland, was charged with Wire Fraud in a Criminal Information filed Friday in the United States District Court in Scranton, PA. He’s agreed to plead guilty.According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Shores bought unlicensed replica jerseys from China, along with mini helmets, balls and other items. Prosecutors say he then affixed phony autographs and sold them in large quantities online in a scheme that ran from 2008 to 2013.
Shores is alleged to have created, owned, and operated internet businesses under the names of Dealakhan, LLC, Stadium Authentics, Autograph Showcase, Sunset Beach, End Game Sports, Authenticgraph, and others with facilities in York County, Pennsylvania and in Maryland.
Investigators believe Shores unlawfully obtained approximately $2.5 million from buyers before the businesses were shut down. Prosecution is seeking forfeiture of real property located in Ocean City, Maryland, approximately $140,000 in Shores’ bank accounts, and an additional amount of $26,000 in proceeds related to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a sports utility vehicle. The government will also seek restitution for victims of the fraud scheme..
A federal agent, working undercover and in cooperation with league officials, made a purchase through Shores’ Stadium Authentics website of what was described as an authentic jersey with a “hand signed” autograph. What the agent received was merchandise that was determined to be counterfeit, which constituted wire fraud.