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Back in the mid 1990s, FBI agents in Chicago started investigating what they thought was a local case of forged autographs of Chicago sports stars. But it turned out not to be local at all: arrests were made in 5 states before "Operation Foul Ball" was over.

That case led to Operation Bullpen, part 1: a two-year undercover operation that led to 26 convictions and the recovery, in 5 different states, of $500,000 in cash and some $10 million worth of forged memorabilia. One of the criminals had joked, "Mickey Mantle still has one arm out of the grave to sign autographs."

Operation Bullpen, part 2, concluded in late 2003, with strong assists from IRS, celebrities, and major businesses. It targeted fake sports and celebrity autographs, many marketed through e-Bay and memorabilia dealers -- and involved investigations in 10 different FBI field offices. 

Source:  Federal Bureau of Investigation Press Release 10/15/03