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A New Jersey man who posed as a former New England Patriots player and purchased family versions of the team’s 2016 Super Bowl rings – one of which sold at auction for more than $337,000 – has been charged with several counts of fraud, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Scott Spina, 24, purchased three Superbowl LI rings made for players’ friends and family and had them engraved with the name “Brady,” falsely claiming that the rings were given to Tom Brady’s nephews, officials said.
According to court documents, Spina’s scheme began in 2017 after he bought a Super Bowl ring from a former Patriots player, whom he bilked with at least one bad check before selling the ring for $63,000 to a well-known sports memorabilia broker in Orange County, California.
Upon purchasing the ring, Spina learned that former players can purchase Super Bowl rings for family and friends that are smaller than the player rings.
“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 wrote in court documents. “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 same Orange County purchaser who’d bought the first player ring agreed to buy the three family rings for $81,500 – three times what Spina had paid for them – until he began to doubt that Brady had any nephews (he has several nieces and nephews) and backed out.
On the day the buyer backed out in Nov. 2017 — which was the same day Spina actually received the rings — he immediately sold them to an auction house for $100,000.
In Feb. 2018, one of sham rings sold for $337,219
He was charged with one count of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for He pleaded guilty to all five charges on Monday, officials said.
According to his plea deal, Spina admitted the three rings “were ordered for Tom Brady directly from [the Ring Company] for select family members.” He also admitted that he defrauded the memorabilia broker to three wire transfers for the deposit on the family rings. Spina further admitted to posing as the former Patriots player to purchase the rings.
He faces up to 92 years in federal prison. However, officials said his actual sentence will likely be “substantially less” once a judge considers sentencing guidelines and other factors. As part of his plea deal, he’s also agreed to pay restitution to the former Patriots player he impersonated.
He will make his first court appearance on Jan 31 in federal court in Los Angeles.