When I established Oskeim Sports in 2007, I knew that the handicapping industry was replete with scam-artists who fed off the unsuspecting public with outlandish claims of success. My mission was simple – to provide the betting public with an honest, reputable and fully documented sports investment firm that offered unparalleled customer service to its clients. Since leaving my job as an attorney at a private litigation firm in 2007, Oskeim Sports has become the fastest growing and most successful sports handicapping firm on the internet, bar none. Unfortunately, that success has come with several competitors trying to steal my work product and/or business ideas, all of which has been in contravention of both state and federal law. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I feel compelled to share one particular instance where a fairly well-known tout had the audacity to infringe upon both my work product and business model. I first learned of this so-called handicapper’s illegal conduct from an unknown sports bettor who first discovered the infringement. He sent the following email to my business:
I just wanted to inform you that another sports service, AAA Sports which is run by Greg Shurden has been selling your “syndicate” plays as his own over the past few weeks. I have the e-mails from him with all the plays documented and they seen to match up with every single play you guys have been releasing as a “syndicate” play over the past few weeks. (Rutgers and Portland U today, UNLV on Thursday, nm st on sun, north texas last saturday. I can provide you guys with e-mails as proof, but I just wanted to make sure you know that he is reselling your information (and not even changing the syndicate names) for commercial gain. You guys can contact me at xxxxxxxxxxxx.com
The sports bettor followed the above-referenced email with a plethora of examples substantiating the copyright infringement, all of which was extremely shocking because it was so blatant. He followed-up with the following correspondence:
I have forwarded what I still have in my inbox. I can also sign an affidavit that none of those e-mails have been edited or altered. I will continue to send you his “syndicate” plays that are almost always identical to your plays.
If there is anything else, please let me know.
Just one more background tidbit. I had started to notice the plays being almost identical for about 3 weeks now, but I figured it could be a coincidence, but when I saw this morning that he was giving out Rutgers AND Portland U, and the syndicate names were pretty much identical I realized for sure that it had to be him reselling. Last Saturday he also released the same 2 plays as you, changed the name of your “Miami syndicate” to “Florida syndicate” and also resold your other play as a “Vegas syndicate”. There is no way that 2 Saturdays in a row he could have the same plays as you and even trying to release your lines.
After realizing how patently disingenuous the handicapping industry could be, especially by desperate handicappers who have been exposed by the internet, I immediately wrote the following letter to the offending scamdicapper:
I hereby request that you immediately remove all references of any syndicates on your website as these are blatant copies of my work product. While my attorneys informed me this morning that you had removed the various syndicate names on your homepage, the syndicates remain on your ‘Detailed Records’ page. Be advised that my attorneys have already taken screen shots of your website prior to the removal of the syndicate names on your homepage, and future use of these names and/or my selections will result in immediate legal action to stop the same. I have worked far too hard to have a handicapping service essentially steal my work product, and I will not hesitate to take appropriate legal actions to end the illegal conduct. In addition, if you do not immediately cease and desist from interfering with my business expectations, I will have no other choice but to go public with your actions.
Finally, I currently have third parties monitoring both your twitter page and your email distributions for the ‘Diamond Club.’ If you continue to utilize my work product for commercial gain, in direct contravention of both state and federal law, I will commence suit immediately. While my attorneys have recommended to commence an action in your jurisdiction, I am willing to give you an opportunity to cease and desist from your current conduct.
Of course, if you would like to discuss this matter in greater detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience. It is my hope that we can resolve this matter without the time, expense and inconvenience of litigation.
Oskeim Sports Consulting, LLC
Like I said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I will not tolerate illegal conduct by competitors who are threatened by what I have to offer the betting public. If you engage in fraudulent behavior, I will expose you. In the meantime, I will continue to provide the betting marketplace with the most reputable and successful sports investment advice on the market, bar none.
BLOG UPDATE (FEBRUARY 1, 2012)
Shortly after posting this blog article and discussing the matter on Twitter, I received numerous emails regarding Mr. Shaker and/or Shurden. Please find one such email below:
Glad you caught the ass hole Shurden stealing your picks. I had suspected this a couple years ago but didn’t have enough data to prove it. I was a subscriber to AAA sports and at the end of my subscription I saw your plays being posted on a public forum. For 4 days every single play matched right down to the syndicate and % my subscription then ended and I moved on from him. I sent an email asking him about whether he was using somebody else’s plays and he became very defensive and said I was basically an amateur who was just mad my subscription had lost money. At that time I ended my relationship with AAA. Then today, 2 years later, I saw your tweet about busting Shurden.
Of course, I will continue to update this Blog with additional horror stories regarding the numerous scam-artists who pervade this industry.
1. Shortly after I introduced the Platinum Club to the betting public, Greg Shaker developed the “Diamond Club” on his AAA website.
2. Shortly after introducing the Vegas Syndicate as part of the Platinum Club, Greg Shaker introduced the “Las Vegas Syndicate” to his Diamond Club.
3. Shortly after introducing the Florida Syndicate as part of the Platinum Club, Greg Shaker introduced the “Miami Syndicate” to his Diamond Club.
4. Greg Shaker blatantly plagiarized the documented records of the Platinum Club’s various syndicates and used them as part of his Diamond Club.
5. Greg Shaker brazenly plagiarized the Platinum Club’s email format and used it as part of his Diamond Club.
6. Greg Shaker illegally infringed upon Oskeim Sports work product by stealing the Platinum Club’s selections and using them for commercial gain as part of his Diamond Club.
EMAIL COMPARISON #1:
Oskeim Sports Platinum Club:
Platinum Club ‘Florida Syndicate’ Investment
Greg Shaker’s Diamond Club:
This College Basketball Game game starts at 9:00 p.m. CST with Rotation #801. This investment is from the Miami Syndicate which is currently 27-16.
EMAIL COMPARISON #2:
Oskeim Sports Platinum Club:
Portland University (-4) (-110) – 1/2 unit wager
Note: This college basketball game starts at 10 p.m. eastern time. Please note that this selection is from the Vegas Syndicate that is 17-5 (77%) since December, 2009.
Greg Shaker’s Diamond Club:
Diamond Club ‘Las Vegas’ Investment
Portland University -4 (-110) 4.00% Bet
This College Basketball Game game starts at 9:00 p.m. CST with Rotation #621. This investment is from the Las Vegas Syndicate which is currently 20-7