A 25-year-old New Jersey man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for posing as Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in order to buy and then sell New England Patriots Super Bowl rings.
Scott V. Spina Jr., of Roseland, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in February to one count of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
He first bought a Super Bowl LI ring in 2017 from a former Patriots player with a bad check and then flipped it to a "broker of championship rings" for $63,000, according to the Justice Department. Spina also learned from the player how players could buy smaller rings for friends and family from an unidentified ring company.
That's when Spina falsely identified himself as Brady over the phone to buy three more Super Bowl LI 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,” according to 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.”
Spina then attempted to sell the three rings to an Orange County (Calif.) man for $81,500 while claiming they were from Brady's nephews. When the buyer tried to back out of the deal, Spina sold them to an auction house for $100,000. One of those rings eventually sold for $337,219 in 2018.
Spina was also ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution to the unidentified player as part of his sentencing.