A man from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been arrested and charged for allegedly selling counterfeit Pokémon cards for thousands of dollars nationwide.
The scheme, which had been under investigation for months, came to an end after a victim from Hawaii tipped Tulsa police about the questionable cards he had bought for $3,000.
With the victim’s help, authorities set up a fake number to trick Michael McCoy into selling the victim cards once again.
As McCoy prepared to mail the cards at a Tulsa post office on Tuesday, he was arrested by local police.
Officials said buyers from four other states — Arizona, Colorado, Ohio and Texas — were also duped into buying what they thought were “rare and high-value Pokémon cards.” McCoy allegedly earned up to $12,000 from the scam operation.
“The cards that were sold by the suspect had little to no value on their own,” the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement, as per People. “However [they] were being sold as ‘rare collectors cards’ for $350 per card.”
The Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office notably collaborated with Nintendo, which had a representative confirm that the cards were fake.
The Hawaii buyer, Riley Bennett, said everything looked “absolutely flawless” prior to the purchase. But upon receiving the actual cards, he quickly realized something was off.
“It was instant that I knew. I was like, ‘These are terrible quality, these are totally fraudulent,’” Bennett told FOX23 News.
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McCoy was charged with obtaining merchandise by false pretense over $1,000 x 5 and violation of the Trademark Anti-Counterfeiting Act, according to the Tulsa Police Department. Records reportedly show he already has existing arrest warrants in Arkansas.
McCoy was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on a $4,000 bond.
Featured Image via Tulsa Police Department, FOX23 News