PORT RICHEY — The Christmas card was signed Al Capone and came with a certificate of authenticity confirming it was inked by the infamous mob boss.
A South Florida collector found the item online last June and paid $2,500 for it. Several months later, collector Avraham Bush bought another item from that same dealer: a $6,500 baseball autographed by Capone and famed Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett.
But the baseball never arrived in the mail and the dealer stopped returning Bush's calls. Bush became suspicious and had the Capone Christmas card examined. It was a fake.
Bush notified authorities, and on Wednesday the Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrested Kenneth Edward Lane, 53, of Port Richey, on a charge of grand theft.
Lane told deputies he sent the collector's money to a person in Pennsylvania to get the baseball — but he could not remember the name or address of the person, and he could not provide any proof of sending such a payment.
Lane, of 9324 Cochise Lane, was released from the Land O'Lakes jail on $2,000 bail.