A New Jersey man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for concocting a scam to sell fraudulent Tom Brady Super Bowl LI championship rings in 2017.
Scott V. Spina Jr., 25, of Roseland, New Jersey, orchestrated and executed a scheme in 2017 that started with defrauding an ex-New England Patriots player, swindling him out of his Super Bowl LI championship ring with a bad check for $63,000. Spina then sold the ring to a well-known sports ring broker in Orange County, California, according to court documents.
Along with his fraudulently acquired ring, Spina also obtained sensitive information of the ex-NFL player, including a means to purchase what are called “family and friend rings” from the original Super Bowl ring company. Friends and family rings are smaller versions of the rings that players receive and only NFL members are allowed to purchase.
“Spina then called the Ring Company, fraudulently identified himself as [the former player], and started ordering three family and friend Super Bowl LI rings with the name ‘Brady’ engraved on each one, which he falsely represented were gifts for the baby of quarterback Tom Brady,” according to court documents. “Defendant Spina intended to obtain the three rings by fraud and to sell them at a substantial profit.”
Spina tried to sell the three rings to the same Orange County broker to whom he sold the first Super Bowl ring of his scam, claiming to the broker that Tom Brady had originally purchased them for his nephews. But the broker grew suspicious of Spina, considering Tom Brady had no nephews at the time, and tried to back out of the deal to purchase.
Spina then sold the three rings to Golden Auctions, a sports memorabilia dealer based in New Jersey, for $100,000, which Gold Auctions labeled for resale as “authorized by Tom Brady.” One of the rings sold for more than $300,000. Representatives for Brady contacted Golden Auction and advised them that the 7-time Super Bowl champion had no connection with the three rings and that they should cease and desist any communication relating Tom Brady to the rings.
Spina was sentenced by United States District Court Judge David O. Carter, who also ordered him to pay $63,000 in restitution to the ex-Patriots player who sold him his Super Bowl LI ring.
Spina was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erik M. Silber of the Central District of California. The FBI’s Art Crime Team investigated the matter.
Representatives for Tom Brady could not be immediately reached for comment.