A document trail has reportedly emerged confirming reports that producers of A&E's hit reality show "Storage Wars" routinely faked scenes in the series about bidders competing for the contents of abandoned storage lockers.
RadarOnline.com said Wednesday that emails and receipts support former star David Hester's lawsuit, filed Tuesday, in which the auction-house owner says he was fired after raising concerns that producers "salted" lockers with valuable items for dramatic effect, among other allegations.
A&E has denied that the show, which began its fourth season on Dec. 4, uses fakery.
RadarOnline -- which said it learned of the documents but did not see or examine them -- said cast-members were paid "rental" fees for placing items they already owned into storage lockers, leaving a trail of receipts, invoices and checks.
Other times, said the website, which cited unnamed sources, items were supplied by the production company itself. In many instances, items were planted in lockers during the taping of episodes, before eyewitnesses, the website added.
Hester -- who according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court has been bidding at abandoned-locker auctions for 26 years -- also claimed the program paid for "weaker" cast members to have winning bids.
Additionally, the lawsuit argues the producers' practices may violate the federal Communications Act of 1934, which forbids rigging of broadcasts involving competitions of intellectual skill. The suit asks for $750,000 for wrongful termination and breach of contract.