Each year Americans are scammed out of $5.8 billion according to the Federal Trade Commission. An ever increasing percentage of that monstrous number comes from the sports card and memorabilia industry, which is unfortunately riddled with fraudulent merchandise and bad people looking to take advantage of skyrocketing prices. Buying or selling with a trusted dealer, like Finnigan's Sportscards on Central Ave. in Colonie, is a must. Just ask the victims of a Rochester-area man that is facing federal felony fraud charges for bogus trading card transactions.

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According to a report by Fernando Alba of syracuse.com, 34 year-old, Kyle Bertrand, of Greece New York is being charged with defrauding buyers and sellers of trading cards of more than $33,000 in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Federal prosecutors allege that from October 2021 to February 2022 Bertrand operated an elaborate scheme that included fake payments and the shipping of empty boxes to online buyers and sellers.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, in November of 2021, Kyle Bertrand negotiated to buy cards for $20,000 with a seller from Florida. Bertrand transferred the money through a banking app. At that time, the seller sent the cards to Bertrand at a Rochester address. However, after the cards were sent, the payment was canceled. Bertrand disputed the payment with his credit card company resulting in the canceled payment. In a separate complaint, Bertrand sent a buyer in Missouri an empty box supposed to be filled with sports cards after the buyer sent a payment of $600. Overall, syracuse.com reports that Kyle Bertrand was charged with federal wire and mail fraud charges and faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.

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