$3 million bid for record trove called a fraud

/ Source: The Associated Press

A winning bid from Ireland of $3 million for a huge record collection offered on the online auction site eBay was apparently a fraud.

A bidder had claimed he would shell out $3,002,150 for the collection of nearly 3 million vinyl albums, singles and CDs being sold by Paul Mawhinney, 68.

An agent for the sale, J. Paul Henderson, said an eBay executive notified him Friday night that the bid was not legitimate and that the bidder's account had been suspended, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

An Irish man whose screen name appeared with the winning bid said he was unaware of the bid until after it had been entered and that he had been a victim of identity theft. The newspaper had earlier reported the winning bidder was based in Galway, Ireland.

"He claims he went to an Internet cafe and got the e-mail with the invoice from us and wondered, 'What the hell is this?'" Henderson told the newspaper.

Mawhinney said he began collecting the records when he opened his record shop, Record Rama, in 1968. He closed it Thursday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

"I am legally blind," he said. "I had a couple of strokes a few years ago ... and it's time at my age to think about doing something else with my life."

Mawhinney said Saturday that he had already contacted six other bidders who had pledged more than $3 million on eBay and three others who approached him independently.

"It's still going to happen," he told The Associated Press.