During the early morning hours of August 23, Dave Oancea made sports memorabilia history when he sold a one-of-a-kind signed Mike Trout rookie card for $3.9 million during an online auction. In addition to the records the Los Angeles Angels center fielder holds on the diamond, he’s now the most expensive trading card ever sold, topping a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, which went for $3.1 million in 2016.

“When I bought this card, everyone said I was crazy for spending almost half a million on a piece of cardboard,” says the 43-year-old Oancea, who claims he bought the 2009 Trout, a “superfractor” made by Topps’ Bowman collection, from a Taiwanese collector he met on eBay in 2018 for $400,000. “I relate it to art—like the Mona Lisa, or a Picasso. There’s only one in the world.”

Oancea is not your typical memorabilia collector. Vegas Dave, as he’s known to his millions of followers on social media, is a notorious gambling influencer, known for selling picks on which team will win a given game. Vegas Dave says he’s the best “sports information consultant” in the world, but if you dig into his past and his picks you’ll find a shady hustler who sells a service that has little, if any, value for his customers.Oancea is not your typical memorabilia collector.

Vegas Dave, as he’s known to his millions of followers on social media, is a notorious gambling influencer, known for selling picks on which team will win a given game. Vegas Dave says he’s the best “sports information consultant” in the world, but if you dig into his past and his picks you’ll find a shady hustler who sells a service that has little, if any, value for his customers.

He became well-known in the sports gambling circuit in 2015 after collecting $2.5 million on a futures bet that the Kansas City Royals would win the World Series that year. In February 2016, he also won a $2.3 million payout when the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Despite holding the winning ticket for the Super Bowl, he couldn’t collect the full amount because the federal government was investigating him at the time. The following year, Oancea was indicted on 19 felonies related to his longstanding habit of using other people’s Social Security numbers to place wagers. In 2019, Oancea,

who was represented by the well-known Vegas criminal defense attorney David Chesnoff, accepted a plea bargain. Instead of being convicted of nearly twenty felonies, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, forfeited half a million dollars, and was banned from Las Vegas sportsbooks for three years.

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