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Two men charged with faking Favre autographs

A widely known Milwaukee sports memorabilia dealer and a second man were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they sold more than 1,000 fake signatures of Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre for as much as $125 each.

The indictment also charges Ron Marth, owner of Mister Sports in nearby Mequon, with selling more than 1,000 fake signatures of other sports stars.

Rex Valenti is charged with signing 50 fake Favre signatures to photographs and being paid $10 for each by Marth, 53.

Valenti, 26, of West Allis, Wis., has agreed to plead guilty to charges of aiding and abetting a wire fraud scheme _ using a telephone to commit fraud _ according to a plea agreement filed Tuesday in federal court in Milwaukee.

He faces as much as five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Marth, 53, could not be reached for comment.

Joe Sweeney, Favre's marketing agent, said he and Favre went to the FBI a year ago with their suspicions when they saw Favre-signed items advertised at $20.

"I've seen Brett Favre sign thousands and thousands of autographs _ I know what it looks like," Sweeney said. "We saw some that didn't look quite right."

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