BRADENTON, Fla. (CN) - A forensic document examiner says a sports memorabilia dealer defamed him by publishing that "thousands of people are getting defrauded" by him and that he and another man are "nothing more than fraud artists and belong in jail." Christopher Morales sued the Grey Flannel Gallery of Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County Court.
Morales describes himself as "a court-approved document examiner," and says he worked as a "Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service."
Morales claims that in a September 2006 email, "Howard Rosenkrantz of Grey Flannel Gallery wrote an email stating the following about Morales: 'he is bad news. He also authenticates for Coach's Corner who will sell anything and I mean anything. The worst in the hobby.'"
He claims that in April this year Grey Flannel Gallery published another defamatory statement in "an online news magazine known as The Brill Report."
"In Grey Flannel's above referenced publication, Grey Flannel stated: 'I fully believe the likes of Morales and Frangipani are nothing more than fraud artists and belong in jail. On a weekly basis people bring in items to our store that have been authenticated from these guys. It pains me to inform them they have spent thousands of hard earned dollars on memorabilia and at the end of the day have nothing to show for it. I wish the government could intervene because thousands of people are getting defrauded by the likes of Morales on a daily basis.'"
The complaint adds: "Nowhere in the Grey Flannel Publication are the above-emphasized statements qualified to be simple opinions."
Morales demands damages for libel and trade libel. He is represented by Patrick Maraist of North Palm Beach.
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