Report: #986672

Complaint Review: Ripoff Report | HERMAN DARVICK JOHN REZNIKOFF

  • Submitted: Mon, December 24, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, October 02, 2013
  • Reported By: Spencer — Westport Connecticut United States of America
    49 Richmondville Ave
    WESTPORT, Connecticut
    United States of America

John Reznikoff University Archives TRUSTED BUSINESS REVIEW: John Reznikoff University Archives dedicated to total customer satisfaction. Prevents Ripoffs, Forgers, Conmen. World’s leading historical document authenticator and lead authenticator for many auction archive companies
*UPDATE: John Reznikoff University Archives pledges their commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy, Business Remediation, and Customer Satisfaction Program. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. John Reznikoff University Archives recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to University Archivesr for its commitment to excellence in customer service.


John Reznikoff is the President of Pres. University Archives and started the business in 1978 specializing in documents, relics, stamps, and rare book authentication. The company stated they are a leading authority of historical authentication in the country and have a huge library database and laboratory that is considered one of the best in the United States.

The information provided in this report is based on comments made Jim Reznikoff during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Pres. University Archives.

John Reznikoff is Rip-off Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

During the course of the onsite interview, John Reznikoff stated: “Individuals seek our company out to authenticate items and we will also seek out items.” The company goes through significant research during the authenticate process to determine if an item is legitimate. Furthermore, Pres. University Archives states their resources matches that of an FBI lab and they utilize a large collection as reference known as forgeries. After an item is authenticated, the company dates the item in their system.

Pres. University Archives mentioned they have a lifetime guarantee. If something was proven to be not be authentic, they provide a refund.

In referencing the level of service provided for complaints, John Reznikoff stated: “I just had a situation with an overseas credit card. The client asked the item be shipped to a different address than the one listed, however this caused a shipping delay. We offered the client a discount and he was satisfied.”

To honor Ripoff Report’s request to “do whatever it takes” to make things right with the consumer, John Reznikoff has made himself more available to clients.

John Reznikoff explained: “In a leadership role with Pres. University Archives, I lead by example and all employees follow. In regards to the Ripoff Report complaints, I believe it was an anonymous complaint in an attempt to tarnish my reputation and 35 year record of service.”

Pres. University Archives is happy to be a part of Ripoff Report’s Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program because they can show their company has nothing to hide by letting someone come in and check out their operations. The company is happy that Ripoff Report helps them restore their reputation.

John Reznikoff, founder and President of University Archives, is a well-known authority and writer on the subject of rare documents and manuscripts. For more than thirty five years, he has bought, consigned and sold historic documents and relics to institutions and individuals, most of whom return time and time again as need and desire arise. John is arguably the most requested Authenticator for historical items in the world. His clients have included the U. S. Justice Department , the FBI, state law enforcement, top auction houses, and the largest rare book dealers in the world. Mr. Reznikoff is regularly sought out by print and broadcast media to comment on current issues in the autograph industry. Every item we sell meets his high standards for authenticity. Click About John Reznikoff or Contact Us for more information.

Every item we sell is backed by a lifetime guarantee of authenticity for the full purchase price to the original purchaser, without time limit. Every item we agree to purchase is accorded a fair price, and often we can pay you within 24 hours. Every purchase is wrapped with care and insured for loss or damage. We treasure our documents and our customers. Click here for more information.

The University Companies began in 1979, but it was more than 10 years before that time that Reznikoff first started as a collector. A child of 8, Reznikoff was given some stamps by his grandmother, who had years before escaped Nazi Germany. At age 13, his mother would ferry him back and forth to various trade shows and watch proudly as her son conducted business from one table to another. Reznikoff is one of the few people in the trade who can claim the Triple Crown of collectibles: 2 Honus Wagner baseball cards, 3 Inverted Jenny (C3A) stamps, and Declaration Signer Button Gwinnett, the rarest of American autographs. In his 35 years in business, he has bought and sold over $300 million in collectibles. Reznikoff has helped build some of the greatest collections in the history of autograph collecting, including for several individuals who are household names. On behalf of clients, he has built at least a dozen near-sets of Signers of the Declaration of Independence. He has supplied five William Henry Harrison documents as President. He has sold approximately 70 printings of the Declaration of Independence, including about 30 from the Peter Force printings of the Stone engraving. He has sold hundreds of letters and documents written by “The Big Three”, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln & Thomas Jefferson. Reznikoff has been an innovator in the field of relics, and even holds a Guinness Book of Records entry for this field. Currently, University Archives owns two of John F. Kennedy’s cars, Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, Annie Oakley’s gun, and Abraham Lincoln’s desk, amongst many others of the world’s greatest treasures.

Reznikoff has been a fearless crusader to identify and eliminate theft and forgery within the industry. He has worked with many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and has helped put several fraudsters in prison. John is a tireless supporter of many charities, both local and international. He has over the years worked very closely with Paul Newman’s “Hole in the Wall Gang” charity, which provides support to terminally ill children. John raises a large and busy family. He is an avid tri-athlete and martial artist. He has trained with the US Navy Seals as well as other widely-respected foreign military forces."

John Reznikoff / Testimonials.

John Reznikoff’s work as an Expert Witness has garnered him praise from attorneys and judges worldwide. Here are some recent statements:

Letter 2009 from an attorney regarding Mr. Reznikoff’s Expert witness testimony vs. State crime lab forensic expert; “…the judge directly quoted some of your testimony. He made some very specific and complimentary findings in connection with your testimony.” ~ Kurosh L. Marjani, attorney

2008 Aguinaldo vs. Warner: “This court was most impressed with Reznikoff’s testimony as to how he determined the authenticity of the known signatures from the questioned documents…” ~ Judge Grogins

2008 Aguinaldo vs. Warner: “This Court finds that the testimony and evidence presented by the Defendant coupled with the Defendant’s expert [Reznikoff] that the purported signatures of the two disputed documents were forgeries. This Court unequivocally credits the testimony of the Defendant’s expert [Reznikoff] of forgery.” ~ Judge Grogins

Here are some recent comments on the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association internet information board:

"I haven't used Reznikoff, but sitting as an ATR, and based on Reznikoff's say so, one side stipulated to the fact that a signature was forged. I never saw the report or heard him testify, but it convinced the original proponent of the document such that they didn't even bother trying to cross.” ~ From: ROBSKOV; Subject: Re: [ccdla] URGENT handwriting expert needed; To: [email protected] Date: 2009.

"I have used Reznikoff for two cases and he is top notch. He is very knowledgeable, personable, and the clients really liked him. He is also very prompt in writing reports. Piper” ~ From: Piper Paul; Sent: 2009; To: CCDLA; Subject: Re: [ccdla] URGENT handwriting expert needed.

"I used him once on an issue regarding an entry in a diary in a sex case. He is fun to work with and knows his stuff.” ~ From: Pamala Favreau; Sent: 2009; To: CCDLA; Subject: Re: [ccdla] URGENT handwriting expert needed.

Mr. Reznikoff’s work as a document examiner has been so successful because he is the first and only expert to combine his primary work as an autograph authenticator with a great study of forensic document examination. His lab is one of the most advanced of its kind outside of the FBI and law enforcement in the country. The devices he uses include: the Video Spectral Comparator , a $30,000 machine which is not available to the general public and the PRO SCOPE an advanced computer-aided magnifier, as seen on episodes of the TV hit, CSI. He has used these items in cases and even on an episode of PBS’s History Detectives.

John Reznikoff has established a unique niche in helping prosecutors and public defenders to structure cross-examinations of opposing counsel’s expert witnesses. John does not rely on forensic document examination for his main source of income, and judges are acutely aware of the fact that he is not a “hired gun”. Because of this fact, Reznikoff’s reports often achieve a greater degree of credibility.

University Archives Guarantee.

Each item is unconditionally guaranteed genuine without time limit. In the unlikely event a lot is declared to be not authentic, we may ask the purchaser to supply the written opinion of one competent authority acceptable to us. We will refund the original purchase price after documentation has been submitted. The buyer’s remedy under this guarantee is limited to the cancellation of the sale and the refund of the original purchase price.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program,.. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program, they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer.



HERMAN DARVICK JOHN REZNIKOFF Herman Darvick Authenticator for JSA PSA DNA JSA Authenticators at large WESTPORT, Connecticut

world wide?  Remember John Reznikoff appearing on the popular cable
television program Pawn Stars.  Reznikoff had as much time as he needed,
in advance, to prepare researching a movie script with a full page
handwritten presentation inscription.  He did his research and
embarrassed himself in front of six million viewers.  Before the program
ended, Reznikoff made the biggest blunder in authenticating while
holding his trusted magnifying glass.
appeared to act as a Sherlock Holmes wannabe as he attempts to examine
the original handwriting with his magnifying glass.  He proudly comes to
a conclusion and determines that the handwriting and signature is of
actor Al Pacino.
seconds many autograph experts watching this program and not even
seeing the original items asked Todd Mueller, a true expert in
authenticity, accepted by the autograph hobby what he thought of the
handwriting and signature.  Mr. Mueller wasnt immediately available for
comment as he missed the show.  He had to watch it later and said the
handwriting and signature was not that of Al Pacino but of Al Ruddy.
 Albert Ruddy later agreed in print stating he screamed at his
television set when he saw the so called expert John Reznikoff
authenticate his signature as Al Pacinos.  Again, Reznikoffs blunder
made headlines on the internet and the entire autograph world saw the
difference between a genuine expert Todd Mueller and an imposter who
appeared on the show and blew it big time.  This mess in front of 6
million viewers may explain so many other mistakes authenticating
autographs.  Reznikoff is on the authenticating team of PSA/DNA.  It is
known that Todd Mueller was asked to join the authenticating team but
refused to allow his name to be a member and have his good name printed
on thousands of certificates that are in error.
Stars was informed of this blunder and John Reznikoff has not been
invited back.  These are facts.  Pawn Stars was so embarrassed they went
back to using their old authenticator, Drew Max who has been right at
least once.
someone walks into the Pawn Shop with a book Say it Aint So, Joe.
 The books author is Thomas L. Stix and the book has a signature Joe
Jackson on the first page.  The boys at Pawn Stars are very excited ,
especially Rick.  Rick believes the signature of Joe Jackson is the
rarest of all baseball players.  The seller is asking $30,000 for the
Corey, who is Ricks son states to his father. Do you realize this could be the biggest hit we ever had?
with the book comes a Certificate of Authenticity dated March 23, 1994
from an unknown name Herman Darvick.  The COA states that Darvick
personally examined the signature.  Darvick also boasts about this on
his resume on James Spences site for authentication.  Darvick praises
himself and says he is one of their experts.
of the fellows at Pawn Stars were not aware of Darvicks name.  They
also did not know that Darvick is an admitted forger of autographs.
 Based on the COA, Rick negotiates the price of the book down to $13,000
even admitting he never heard of this guy (Herman Darvick of New
York).  Rick buys the book.
feel absolutely sure, Ricks father, son and one of the workers Chumlee
mock Rick for not having an expert look at the book first.  They all
agree Rick should have had an expert on autographs look at the signature
in the book.  Rick, now sweating is beginning to think he may have been
burned in what could be the biggest hit he ever had.  On the program
he takes the book to a book store in Las Vegas.  A girl named Rebecca
who works in the book store looks at the signature of Joe Jackson and
determines the signature is likely not genuine.  She says if it was real
the book would be worth $100,000.  Rebecca was shown the COA signed by
Herman Darvick and she says the COA is only as good as the person who
signed it. 
A girl in a bookstore trumps Herman Darvicks opinion.
is known as the former president of the Universal Autograph Collectors
Club (UACC).  His membership was terminated over 30 years ago because of
mis-treating another club member and violated a few of the clubs
ethics rules. 
it surprise anyone that most dealers who specialize in sports never
seen or handled a genuine signature of Joe Jackson.  But Herman Darvick
in the course of only a few years, during his auctions sold multiple
items that he claimed to be signed by Joe Jackson.
from Pawn Stars is obviously nervous and wants yet another opinion.  He
decides to send the book to a company who advertises they authenticate
sports autographs.  He decided to send the book to PSA/DNA where Herman
Darvick was one of their authenticators.  Darvick is known to say that
he felt the company was ridiculous in how they handled authentication.
book comes back from PSA/DNA with a COA dated June 13, 2012.  The
reasons for their decision comes back with their basically standard
printed reasons for turning down items.  They do add the e in Joe had
been erased and started over.  Everyone on the program started to laugh
out loud as the boss was just told by PSA/DNA he paid $13,000 on a phony
autograph the one Darvick brags about authenticating on JSAs website
as their authenticator.  To top the embarrassment PSA/DNA turns down an
item once passes as genuine by one of their former authenticators.  
says he does not honor his past guarantees as he claims he is no
longer is in the business.  The fact is, Herman Darvick has been working
for John Reznikoff (who also bombed on Pawn Stars) for several years.
 Darvick sells his own material on eBay and also lists Reznikoffs
autographs on eBay.
recently posted an old video of him when he had hair.  It was from an
early Oprah Winfrey show in 1984 before she became wealthy.  Darvicks
recent move was an attempt to divert the recent embarrassment with past
history.  It worked on one site known to squash the truth from
collectors.  Here the truth is always paramount and hurts more often
then not for these type of fraudsters.  It is horrible for the viewers
and collectors to witness first hand on television and see how two who
claim to authenticate autographs cant get anything right on Pawn Stars.
 Drew Max, has proven himself on this popular program and the
supporters of the fraudsters trash him.  The real truth, just watch the
re-runs and see for yourself that Drew Max is far better then Reznikoff
and Darvick when authenticating autographs
Darvick, presently a third party authenticator got the signature of Joe
Jackson wrong.  Costing Pawn Stars a loss of $13,000 or actually the
$100,000 they hoped the book was worth.  This is the biggest loss Pawn
Stars has made based on a bad authentication by those who are self
proclaimed experts.  A girl in a book store got it right.  Need anything
more be said?
these guys who represent companies that advertise they can authenticate
autographs has been nothing else but watching a rodent run the wheel.
has been proven over and over again on the Internet and now on Pawn
Stars that no wannabe person who claims to authenticate autographs is
completely useless.  They can always serve as a bad example!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/24/2012 04:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

PSA DNA its about being able to sell autographs

AUTHOR: MaryR - ()

Reputable authentication services like PSA/DNA and their competitor JSA are the future of authentication in the autograph hobby. On the current autograph market are  literally millions of signed items good and bad. But we all must respect the opinion of our industry compadresmen and women who are leading experts in their respective field of autograph studyand continuously seek their input on items. PSA DNA has been instrumental in protecting buyers from buying bad items

When an impartial third party reviews an item for a company, or even an individual, theyre providing their independent, expert opinion pertaining to an items authenticity. In case you missed it, the key word here is impartial. Theres no collusion. Theres no conspiracy. And these guys certainly are not incompetent. Theres no hidden agenda the only motive is getting it right. Thats why autograph dealers must use their services.

When it comes to authenticating material, this industry desperately needs a consensus. The more people in agreement over the authenticityor lack thereofof an item, the better. Wouldnt you rather have an item that multiple sources have OKd, rather than something that only one person has, while another four or five may question its authenticity? A signed autograph, authenticated by one man who states that he is the best at authenticating this particular signature and in twenty plus years has only studied this person's signature but knows nothing about other autographs.

Before you start typing your response, Ill happily concede that Mr. Darvick built a fortune and a decent reputation by being correct far more than he has been off the mark. Yet, if this well-meaning man does not change and he clearly hates being disagreed with by other experts.

The autograph market isnt the first hobby to face this kind of change. Coin collectors turned up their noses at authenticating and grading; so did card collectors. But talk to your buddies who are involved in these pursuits. Or you may dabble in them yourself. Card and coin collectors lust after those slabbed treasures more than anything else. Got something graded 8.5 by PSA? They immediately want one thats a 9, not only because its better, but also because the experts say that its better.

So why should autograph collectors want anything less? And were not even talking about better but authentic ... the real deal. Not a clever forgery or an autopen or a secretarial example. An autograph they dont get an argument over when they try to sell or consign it.

The new breed of collectors are demanding third-party authentication. Because I said so may work for parents but its no longer going to work for a guy whos asking a ton of money for an autograph who may have nothing, including expertise, to back it up. This is where PSA DNA comes in.

I firmly believe that cultivating relationships with third-party authenticators is essential in keeping our hobby strong. Veteran authenticators arent going to be around forever, and they are going to have to pass on their wisdom to the next generation of authenticators, who right now are honing their skills.

I hope that collectors and forums like this will begin to insist that every dealer of autographs should support an industry-wide third-party system. This is the future and its better to grab it now. Clearly, for some people out there, its understandably going to take some extra time and effort to build that trust, but this is the best solution for cleaning out the garbage and building a safer, more successful hobby for new autograph collectors.

The resistance on the part of some people is understandablebut its counterproductive to the industry as a whole. There is no shame for an experienced dealer to proudly display the beloved PSA DNA logo on his/her autograph web site.  PSA DNA is the future and those dealers who reject third party authentication will risk his/her reputation and soon find themselves locked out of the circle.
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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

$1000 cash offered

AUTHOR: Herman Darvick - (United States of America)

Prove this statement in the "Ripoff Report" about me posted above and I will give you $1000 in cash: "Darvick is an admitted forger of autographs." I have never forged an autograph. In my 45 years in the autograph field (I issued a list of autographs for sale in 1968), when shown an autograph by a collector that was not authentic (before the internet), I would, at times, take a pen and show the collector how an authentic example of that autograph would look and then tear up what I had shown the collector and dispose of it. That's not forgery: there was no intent to deceive.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Herman Darvick Makes VALID argument here !

AUTHOR: TomGrimm - (United States of America)

First of all..I stood in line to get books signed by Barack Obama several years ago . The man that signed was Barack Obama .  PSA DNA rejected every book that I sent and declared them to be Not Genuine then they cashed my check. I do not have any faith at all in PSA DNA. NONE !!!!   PSA DNA is a biggest con in the history of autograph collecting.

I know very little about Shoeles Joe. I did see the PAWN STARS episode with the book. Rick Harrison  looked at the HERMAN DARVICK COA and made a comment about it and said he had never heard of the person (HERMAN DARVICK) . The cameraman had a nice clear shot of the document and there was no mistaking the name HERMAN DARVICK on the document.  It is possible that Shoeless Joe basically drew his signature while looking at someone's written example(Joe could not read or write). That explanation makes perfect sense.

Herman Darvick left PSA. James Spence also left PSA.  These guys left PSA for a reason. JSA has a better track record than PSA overall. Both authenticators have made errors, but PSA DNA takes the cake as far as errors go, I doubt if PSA gets anything right at all.

At the end of the episode, Rick gets a letter from PSA with the bad news about SHOELESS JOE .  I  give that PSA DNA letter ZERO CREDIBILITY .  The fact that PSA rejected the signature makes me think that it could be real.

PSA DNA is the biggest HOAX ever in collecting and they deserve ZERO attention. Rick Harrison's letter from PSA DNA belongs in the circular file.
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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Unsubstantiated Lies

AUTHOR: Herman Darvick - (United States of America)

"They also did not know that Darvick is an admitted forger of autographs" This is libelous. Prove it or remove it.
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#5 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Joe Jackson signed book is authentic

AUTHOR: Herman Darvick - (United States of America)

Mike Nola, Official Historian, The Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame Web Site, commented about the Pawn Stars episode on another website: "The question I have for PSA and their so-called experts is this: Has anyone there given any thought to the fact that the same characteristics that apply to tracing (i.e., pressure points, delays, etc., etc......), pretty much apply to someone such as Joe Jackson who would have been 'drawing' his name based on a pattern taught him by his wife. I interviewed Eugene Estes (and that name means little to history, except that he witnessed Joe signing his Will). Mr. Estes told me that Joe struggled to sign his name, that he practiced on the back on an envelope three times before setting pen to paper on the Will. Mr. Estes said Joe stopped several times during the signing, which in my opinion would make it looked "traced" ... The signature on the book looks different than the onethat appears on his will, but the one on his will appears different that the one that appears on his 1941 mortgage note and that one appears
different that the one on his 1949 drivers license. In other words.....all his signatures different somewhat, since he was just tracing a pattern taught to him by his wife Katie.

I sent Rick Harrison an email and told him as much.

But I do agree that the piece appeared to be staged for Rick has almost always went to one of his 'experts' when he was about to lay out that much cash for something."

Why didn't Rick bring in one of his autograph experts before he wrote the $13,000 check? If Rick had googled my name and "Joe Jackson," he would have learned (from newspaper reports, on websites, and in books) that I sold the first authentic Joe Jackson autograph - authenticated by me - in 1990. It was reproduced in my auction catalogue. Its authenticity was not questioned by anyone including baseball autograph experts, all of whom who saw my auction catalogue.

Newspaper report:,2141884
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#6 Consumer Comment

Darvick's tribe is evil

AUTHOR: KNIGHTSKK - (United States of America)

I am going to disagree with tribesman darvick  .  I have personally seen both episodes in the story and the Certificate of Authenticity says "HERMAN DARVICK" on it  and the Shoeless Joe was fake.  Tribesman Reznikoff  made an error regarding the Al Pacino inscribed item and he did so in front of the world. I have to believe this post is true  and correct  and I do not care where it was posted from. I Have Spoken.
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#7 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Report is a hoax copied from the Autograph Alert website which was closed down as a result of a lawsuit

AUTHOR: Herman Darvick - (United States of America)

Where is the proof about self-admitted forger? I am a life member of the UACC. Not one of the Joe Jackson autographs I've authenticated has ever been proven to be a forgery - one was even sold by Sotheby's which uses the top sports authenticators before they offer sports autographs for sale.

Unfortunately, the same people who were spewing lies about reputable autograph dealers on (closed down as a result of a lawsuit in February 2012) are now using as their podium.
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