A New Jersey man is facing the prospect of decades behind bars after being caught in a scheme to fraudulently obtain and sell copies of Super Bowl rings bearing the name of superstar NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
According to the Washington Examiner, 24-year-old Scott Spina faces an unlikely maximum sentence of 92 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to five felony charges related to fraud.
The scheme reportedly involved writing a hot check to buy a Super Bowl LI ring from a former New England Patriots player, then impersonating that player to sell the ring for a profit.
Spina has also pleaded guilty for defrauding the ring manufacturer and a California broker to obtain and sell three more Super Bowl LI rings.
Accused of fraud
According to a Monday release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Central California, it was in 2017 that Spina wrote at least one bad check to purchase a 2016 Super Bowl LI ring from a former Patriots player. Spina then sold the jewelry to a broker for $63,000.
In the process, Spina also reportedly obtained personal information from the former player that allowed him to impersonate them and order three more copies of a slightly smaller “family and friends” version of the 2016 rings, which were awarded to the Patriots players directly from the manufacturer.
“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,” prosecutors claimed in a court filing.
“The rings were at no time authorized by Tom Brady. Defendant Spina intended to obtain the three rings by fraud and to sell them at a substantial profit,” the filing adds.
Scott V. Spina Jr. of Roseland, NJ has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in relation these “Brady”-engraved rings. pic.twitter.com/bzZOML5yf6
— US Attorney L.A. (@USAO_LosAngeles) December 21, 2021
Once he obtained the three rings, Spina reportedly entered into an agreement to sell them to the broker for a price of $81,500, about three times what he had paid the manufacturer for them. But the broker grew suspicious and eventually backed out of the deal, reports claimed.
Spina then sold the rings for $100,000 to an auction house. One was later auctioned off for a price of $337,219, the Examiner reported.
In a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Spina admitted his guilt. He was charged with and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. He will appear in court on Jan. 31.