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Dealer claims he spent $10,000 on fake Woods cards

A sports memorabilia trader claims he spent nearly $10,000 for two Tiger Woods rookie cards that turned out to be counterfeit.

In a lawsuit against a television-based seller and a collectible vendor, Sam DiGiralomo charged that the cards, commemorating Woods' 1997 victory in the Masters, were not part of limited-edition sets featuring a card for each winner of the tournament.

Instead, the cards sold by Shop at Home Inc. were cut from a 1999 poster that showed all the cards in the sets, DiGiralomo claimed.

He accused Shop at Home, of Antioch, Tenn., and Goldin Sports, of West Berlin, N.J., a vendor of sports collectibles, of plotting in August 2000 to cash in on the Woods rookie card by selling a facsimile of the card, which by then had reportedly fetched as much as $20,000.

Also named in the lawsuit were Kenneth Goldin, a principal of Goldin Sports, and Donald West, an on-air seller for Shop at Home.

Starting that summer, the bogus cards were offered by Shop at Home over cable television, with West on camera and Goldin participating by telephone, the lawsuit said.

In December, the cards were offered for $4,995.95 each. Based on statements that the cards were legitimate, DiGiralomo bought two, his lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages. It had been filed in state Superior Court for Essex County in July and surfaced last month in U.S. District Court when the defendants sought to have it heard there.

DiGiralomo lawyer Kenneth J. Isaacson said Wednesday he would not contest the removal action.

He declined to say how DiGiralomo determined the cards were not authentic.

Messages left Wednesday for lawyers for Shop at Home and Goldin Sports were not immediately returned.

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