Georgia man sentenced in fake autograph scheme in Alabama

Crime

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October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Georgia man who created websites to sell memorabilia bearing fake autographs was sentenced to more than three years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to federal charges in Alabama, prosecutors said.

Douglas Duren, 38, of Atlanta pleaded guilty to fraud and identity theft in March and was sentenced to 40 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Liles C. Burke.

For nine years ending in 2019, Duren sold counterfeit items and memorabilia with fake autographs on a trio of websites, prosecutors said. He would get retail sports equipment, movie posters, books and photos and then forge the autographs of famous people, a statement said.

Initially based in Maryland before moving to Atlanta, Duren advertised the websites on two television stations in north Alabama and failed to pay one $80,000 for the commercials after posing as an advertising executive, prosecutors said.

Court records don’t show what celebrity signatures Duren was accused of forging or how much merchandise was sold.

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