CGC filed suit against two former employees last week alleging comic thefts and label-swapping, which comes in the wake of holder tampering issues that also involved collectors being sold books with CGC labels that showed higher grades than actually deserved.

Certified Collectibles Group filed suit last week against two former employees, alleging that they stole books submitted to CGC for grading, printed CGC labels which they applied to lower-grade books, and violated company policies regarding sales of collectibles.

The suit targets married couple Brandon and Ayana Terrazas, a comics grader and a receiving clerk, respectively, who began working at CGC’s Florida facility in mid-2022.  It alleges that Brandon Terrazas confessed to a CGC investigator that beginning in May of 2023, he began stealing customer-submitted books, submitted them for grading under his and other names (including his wife’s), and on seven of the books, printed CGC labels with higher grades and swapped the labels with the lower-grade labels his books had received.

CGC tallied $26,895 in sales allegedly made by the couple on eBay, through ComicLink, and at shows.

The suit charges the couple with trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, false designation of origin and unfair competition, and contributory trademark infringement, all under the Lanham Act; common law trademark infringement and unfair competition; "conversion" (stealing) of company property; conspiracy; and unjust enrichment.

CGC seeks a finding in its favor; an injunction preventing the pair from a long list of activities; an order to require the defendants to turn over labels and any stolen books; a judgment for actual, statutory, and punitive damages (which could include up to $2 million for each trademark counterfeited and infringed); costs and fees; and other relief.

The suit comes less than a month after CGC released a statement revealing that an individual had tampered with CGC slabs and replaced around 350 higher grade comics with lower grade comics worth less than the grade on the slab.  Around 350 books were affected, according to CGC, including dozens of copies of some issues, including Amazing Spider-Man #194, #238, and #300.

CGC asked that the owners of books on the list submit them for Holder Review.  If the book is correctly graded, it will be re-slabbed and returned at no charge.  If it’s improperly graded, CGC will retain the book and compensate the owner for the current fair market value of an accurately graded book at the original incorrect grade. Only a small percentage of the books have been submitted for review to date.

CGC has been expanding the categories for which it offers grading services (see "CGC Launches DVD and Blu-ray Grading"), but comics remains a core category for the company.