Friday, July 05, 2013

John Olson & Operation Bullpen Muhammad Ali forgeries

John Olson was a forger behind many of the Muhammad Ali forgeries that were rounded up in the FBI's Operation Bullpen bust. Olson worked closely with former boxer Chuck Wepner to pull off his scam, often selling photos signed by the real Wepner, and with a fake Ali signature added.

According to Operation Bullpen author Kevin Nelson, "Olson estimated that over the years he forged close to 10,000 items, mainly of Muhammad Ali. Olson stated "It was crazy. We went on for years. People saying, 'I want to buy five hundred Ali photographs. I want to buy a thousand Ali photographs.'"

Operation Bollpen boxing forger/con man John Olson, circa 1990s

So, is Olson still at it? Click here to read a fascinating account that occurred in Late March/early April 2013. A sports memorabilia dealer met with "a dying man" named John who wanted to sell his collection of boxing autographs. The buyer soon after found out the man he met with was John Olson and all the autographs he purchased were fakes.

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