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US classics - altered then sold by upstate New York group
From 2000 till May 2002, the upstate New York seller schuylerac (formerly crustaceans, now wackeywood) regularly offered on eBay supposed "rarities" in quantities unheard of in philately, usually with a long uppercase "as is" caveat.
But this seller seemingly retired from eBay, and his stock appeared to have been acquired by newcomers pcheltenham, listed as part of an "estate collection" in 20 boxes, and 32gyt78, who advertised "19TH CENTURY CLASSICS." The caveat "what you see is what you get" proved disappointing to bidders who found that the stamps they purchased had been altered in some way!
The eBay IDs chickfrdstk, booksnbooks4u (formerly stazy4), and tremor111 appear to have bought the raw material for these alterations.
In May 2003, as a result of eBay finally taking action to investigate the ring's activities, pcheltenham was suspended. The ring briefly moved their activities to the Yahoo online auction site using the ID goldmedalauctions, a name very similar to that previously used by Gregory Stolow to run mail order sales.
Since June 2003 however, the ring seems to have disappeared into the woodwork (please pass any more recent information on their activities to SCADS - see home page for contact address). Meanwhile, the collecting community now has to deal with the effect on the hobby of thousands of altered stamps bought by unsuspecting collectors.....
Read all the details here.
ID history of the Saratoga Ring: