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Ex-Bank Robber's New Heist: Scamming Pokémon Card Buyers For Millions

Anthony Curcio has spent the past decade as a speaker advocating against his previous life of crime

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A big pile of Pokemon cards.
Photo: Kotaku

Pokémon cards and crime are intimately intertwined at this point, as the collectible cards are often wrapped up in robberies and scams due to their high resale value. Some of the stories surrounding Pokémon card sales have reached tragic ends, and the entire subculture of scalping, stealing, and reselling these pieces of cardboard hangs like a cloud over parts of the Pokémon community. But as a quick way to make money, the whole scheme is pretty appealing, so appealing, in fact, that a seemingly reformed bank robber decided to get in on the grift and scammed people out of millions.

Anthony Curcio, an infamous bank robber who pulled off an elaborate armored car heist in Washington state in 2008, has spent much of the past decade as an advocate speaking to youth about drug addiction and crime. But it sounds like he’s since made a hard pivot into Pokémon card scamming. Fox 13 Seattle has a story on the situation (thanks, Nintendo Wire), which outlines how Curcio, alongside accomplice Iosif Bondarchuk, has been scamming buyers of Pokémon and sports cards to the tune of $2 million.


The pair has allegedly been selling falsely graded cards to buyers, from local card shops in Washington to nationwide victims via online sales. One of their alleged fakes, a duplicate of a 1986 Michael Jordan card, was listed for $171,700, which caught the attention of the card grader company Professional Sports Authenticator. Curcio and Bondarchuk could face up to 20 years in prison for their crimes if found guilty.

Fox 13 Seattle

Neither Curcio and Bondarchuk have been convicted as of yet, and Fox 13 Seattle had no luck getting a comment from Curcio after going to his listed address. It’s a shame that Curcio spent the last decade seemingly getting out of his life of crime just to seemingly turn right back into it. That’s some Team Rocket nonsense, but Curcio might be blasting off again soon.