A former West Covina resident made an initial appearance in federal court in San Diego Thursday for allegedly selling more than $1 million in memorabilia with forged autographs of celebrities.
Anthony J. Tremayne, 51, who has been living in Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested at the San Ysidro border crossing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is charged in a 19-count indictment unsealed Thursday.
According to prosecutors, Tremayne allegedly operated businesses for about a decade that sold memorabilia with forged signatures of celebrities and sports stars. Prosecutors contend that in one instance in 2013, he sold 100 items for $100,000, including Darth Vader and Imperial Stormtrooper helmets with forged signatures of “Star Wars” actors. The items also included posters with forged signatures of actors from the “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” film series, prosecutors contend.
In 2019, he allegedly shipped an FBI undercover buyer a “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” photograph with forged signatures of three of the TV personalities.
Tremayne is charged with 13 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. He is also accused of moving to Mexico in an effort to avoid paying $1.4 million in taxes owed to the U.S. government.
The fraud counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the identify theft counts each have a two-year maximum sentence.
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