Kelowna sports memorabilia store owner accused of fraud by customers across the country - InfoNews

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Kelowna sports memorabilia store owner accused of fraud by customers across the country

Jason Bobbitt of West Coast Authentic Sports Memorabilia on Harvey Avenue has 22 civil lawsuits at various stages of the court system. Companies like Graydon Group Management, Newcap Inc and Highlife Designs Ltd. have joined many other private investors who say Bobbitt took them for large sums of money.
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February 07, 2018 - 5:30 PM

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KELOWNA – The owner of a local sports memorabilia store is being sued by dozens of people for items they claim they never received or loans that were never repaid.

Jason Bobbitt of West Coast Authentic Sports Memorabilia on Harvey Avenue has 22 civil lawsuits at various stages of the court process, according to online documents. Companies like Graydon Group Management, Newcap Inc. and Highlife Designs Ltd. have joined many other private investors who say Bobbitt took them for large sums of money. The cases go back to 2008 but one was filed in November, 2017.

In Canada alone, iNFOnews.ca has learned of alleged victims in Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Williams Lake, Toronto, Prince George and Kelowna.

In 2008, prior to moving to Kelowna, an online sports collector forum alleged that Bobbitt was convicted in Fredericton, N.B. for failing to deliver more than $300,000 worth of merchandise from his New Brunswick store Crazy Canuck Ltd.

Alexander Tran is one of his alleged victims, but has not filed suit against Bobbitt.

The 25-year-old lives in Toronto but routinely buys collectibles over the internet. He says after the first deal with West Coast Authentic went well, he let Bobbitt talk him into spending a lot more money.

“He started to talk about other things, saying how he’s a vendor and he can get me discounted prices. He started making up bullshit about how he’s working on a big deal with other people, he said it was a $50,000 deal but I haven’t seen any money yet.”

He alleges Bobbitt owes him roughly $10,000 - Tran's entire savings.

Christian Oonk from Vancouver first met Bobbitt 10 years ago while selling autographs he collected as a kid. He is one of the 22 who are suing Bobbitt.

As with Tran, the first deal went well, but when Oonk refused to give any more money, Bobbitt's friendly veneer dropped.

“I still randomly try and call him to get it, but he’s smooth,” Oonk says. “He offers payment plans but never ever follows through.”

He claims Bobbitt owes him between $12,000 and $15,000.

Last fall, Langley man Scott Strudwick and his wife allegedly agreed to invest in Bobbitt’s promise that he was buying rare trading cards from a doctor who was liquidating his collection. Bobbitt said he didn’t have the money himself but wrote out a contract for repayment.

The contract was never fulfilled and Strudwick alleges his family is owed more than $150,000.

“In hindsight we got duped, but we trusted him,” he says. “I assumed he was a good guy, now I’ve talked to several people who have the exact same story. He runs the same con over and over and over.”

According to court records, Bobbitt and West Coast Authentic have been or are being sued by 22 different people or organizations in B.C. alone. Most cases are still active.

Strudwick says the lawsuits are pointless.

“(Bobbitt) doesn’t have anything worth any money in his name,” he says. “The reason he’s able to exist is everyone’s embarrassed they got scammed. He’s still sitting in his store ripping people off.”

Bobbitt admits to the debts, but denies intentionally scamming anyone. He says he has not fought any of the lawsuits.

"I agreed to the consent orders… to protect everybody," he says. "Most have been paid out. I hope to have everybody paid back in the next few months."


To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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