Mayo Gilbert McNeil accused of selling $800K in fake sports cards

These Air Jordan cards were nothing but air balls.

Colorado senior citizen Mayo Gilbert McNeil was federally charged for allegedly scheming with others to sell and trade fake sports trading cards, including valuable 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The 82-year-old man found his alleged victims through the internet and online selling platforms, and defrauded them for more than $800,000 in cash between 2015 and 2019, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Victims also traded authentic sports cards for fake ones, the feds alleged.

McNeil was arrested Wednesday morning in Denver and hauled in front of a US District Court judge in Colorado. He was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“Protection from fraud extends to all consumers, regardless of what team they root for,” US Attorney Breon Peace in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant orchestrated a years-long and far-reaching scheme to defraud sports trading cards enthusiasts and the sports memorabilia industry. Our office is committed to addressing counterfeiting at all levels of the market.”

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's office, shows a counterfeit Michael Jordan basketball card prosecutors say was one of several traded and sold by a Colorado man.
This undated photo shows a counterfeit Michael Jordan rookie card prosecutors say was one of several traded and sold by Mayo Gilbert McNeil.

Michael Jordan
Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards during his incredible career.
Getty Images

The NYPD worked with the FBI on the case.

One victim, from Manhasset on Long Island, forked over $4,500 to McNeil for one of the counterfeit Michael Jordan cards in 2019, according to the criminal complaint. Another victim, from Michigan, shipped two authentic Tom Brady football cards in exchange for two fake Jordan cards, the complaint alleges.

McNeil claimed the cards he was offering were graded by a professional authentication company, but they were actually fake, prosecutors said.

McNeil is expected to be arraigned in the Big Apple at a later date.