Van Halen Forger Pleads Guilty to Selling $175K in Bogus Autographs
Caught! David Bruce Shryock of Missouri has plead guilty to fraud charges in federal court after he was caught peddling more than 1,200 items, including album covers and sports memorabilia, with forged autographs. The 49-year-old man used eight different eBay accounts and collected more that $175,000 in profits from the sale of forged items, one of which was an "autographed" copy of Van Halen's '5150' album for $177.
Shryock claimed that the cover was signed by the band but the John Hancocks were false. Now that's evil and a true case of "Buyer beware!" Reuters reports that Shryock, who is based in Joplin, Missouri, an area in the news of late due to the tornadoes that hit the region over the summer, carried out his schemes over the course of six years.
He slyly avoided being caught by opening new eBay and PayPal accounts whenever old ones were suspended. He would use other people's names to open new accounts and then paid them a portion of the profits for their trouble! Wow, sounds like Shryock was clever in his duplicity.
He was even caught burglarizing a lawyer's office in Joplin on Dec. 15, 2010. He really tried to evade capture, going as far as driving his car off a cliff, bailing himself out and then fleeing on foot. He was eventually caught, with a 9mm pistol belonging to the lawyer he robbed found in the vehicle.
He has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal possession of a firearm, as well.
Shryock is a convicted felon with previous forgery charges on his record and was not legally allowed to possess a firearm, so he's staring down 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.