I’m surprised that neither Dwight nor Murray Newman picked up on this one. Lonnie Blevins, a former investigator at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has been charged with stealing over $140,000 worth of vintage comic books. The comic books were purportedly taken from evidence seized from Anthony Chiofalo, a lawyer accused of embezzling more than $9 million from a client. Chiofalo’s own lawyer says it’s possible more than $1 million worth of collectables was taken from his client.
When Blevins (allegedly) tried to sell them for about half their value at a Chicago comics convention the dealer became suspicious. To allay their suspicions, Blevins “let them photograph his Texas driver’s license and showed his badge proving he was an investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.”
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to crack this case. I could actually see this working if he was very careful and only sold one or two titles at various shows or shops, maybe mixed in with a few lesser titles he purchased. (I’d be interested in hearing some of the titles he allegedly tried to fence.) But trying to sell a whole bunch of valuable comics all at once? Yeah, that’s going to raise some flags.
More on Chiofalo’s collection, which included “a baseball signed by Babe Ruth, a first edition Playboy and the first ever Batman comic book, worth about $900,000…a boxing robe worn by Muhammad Ali, a signed first edition of Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather, and a baseball helmet signed by Pete Rose.”
(Hat tip: Doug Potter’s Facebook page.)