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Sports memorabilia deception ends in 21-month sentence

| Nov 28, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, consumers who purchase goods and then claim to suffer a financial loss may file a complaint against the seller. As reported by the American Bar Association, Arkansas makes it unlawful for a seller to use deception or “unconscionable trade practices” to promote sales of goods or services. 

When an individual pays for personal goods and believes that the seller engaged in price gouging, a complaint with the attorney general’s office may result in a fraud charge. A seller, however, has a legal right to defend against the allegations. In the case of false claims regarding sports memorabilia in Arkansas, a plea bargain may have provided a path to a lesser sentence. 

Misrepresentation of high worth results in a fraud charge

A Little Rock man allegedly misrepresented ordinary sporting goods as valuable memorabilia that eventually sold for millions of dollars. As reported by KATV News, 10 individuals purchased normal items from a seller who claimed they had high value as genuine sports memorabilia. The Little Rock resident assisted the seller by vouching for the items’ authenticity. 

The assistance took the form of claims that the man’s father acquired the sporting goods through relationships he had with professional coaches. By admitting to promoting fabricated stories, a plea deal with the court resulted in a 21-month sentence. 

An effective defense may rest on a plea bargain 

Individuals selling goods in Arkansas must comply with strict consumer protection laws to avoid allegations of fraud. When claims of fraud result in charges, however, a prosecutor may not have the necessary evidence to convict an individual of a serious felony. In cases in which a prosecutor possesses overwhelming evidence, the court may accept a plea bargain in exchange for a lenient punishment.