Mastro Auctions IT director gets probation for lying to feds

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A man who tried to help the so-called “King of Memorabilia” cover up a fraud scheme that included the doctoring of the most expensive baseball card ever sold will spend three months confined to his home.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced William Boehm, 66, of Missouri to two years of probation and a $2,500 fine Monday for lying to FBI agents investigating Mastro Auctions in 2007. Boehm must spend the first three months of his probation on home confinement and perform 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors agreed that Boehm deserved probation after he pleaded guilty in September and accepted responsibility for his fib. Boehm’s attorney said in a court filing his client has six prior convictions — half for drug crimes and the rest for burglary and theft — but he has led a “law abiding, hardworking and positive life since his release from prison in 1991.”

Boehm, who worked as Mastro Auction’s director of information technology, chose not to make a comment before his sentence was handed down.

“I don’t really have anything to say, your honor,” Boehm said as he stood before Guzman.

Boehm’s former boss, Bill Mastro, pleaded guilty in October 2013 and still faces sentencing this August. He altered the ultra-rare $2.8 million 1909 Honus Wagner cigarette card in 1986, traded in phony memorabilia for years, used shill bidding to drive up prices and conned collectors who bought goods sold through his auction house.

Boehm admitted he lied to the FBI when he told agents he disabled a friend’s account at Mastro’s auction house because that friend was having money trouble, according to his plea agreement.

In reality, the feds say Boehm knew his friend never used the account. Rather, Boehm turned the “dead paddle” over to Mastro, who used it to make phony bids and drive up prices, according to the feds. They say Boehm disabled the account after Mastro told him to get rid of the evidence.

William Mastro and others were charged in a sports memorabilia case involving a now-defunct suburban Chicago auction house. | Sun-Times File Photo

William Mastro and others were charged in a sports memorabilia case involving a now-defunct suburban Chicago auction house. | Sun-Times File Photo

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