Tom Brady ring scandal: 25-year-old sentenced to three-year jail term after trying to make money from fraudulent Super Bowl rings
Tom Brady has more Super Bowl rings to his name than any other franchise in NFL history. Being the only player in history to flaunt seven rings, one would expect the quarterback to keep his prized possessions somewhere locked away.
However, one 25-year-old seemed to think that he could dupe the world and make some cash off fraudulent rings. According to a report by Reuters, Scott Spina, hailing from New Jersey, not only duped the former New England Patriots player but also stole his identity to sell fraudulent rings he had made in the name of Brady himself.
Spina obtained the Super Bowl LI ring of a New England player back in 2016. He did so by giving the footballer a bad check and never returning the ring.
The 25-year-old instead sold the ring to a broker and made a cool $63,000. Spina then took it one step further by posing as the player and ordering three rings engraved with the name "Brady" from memorabilia company Jostens. He claimed they were gifts for the then-Patriots quarterback's children. This tipped off officials, who soon tracked the fraudulent order back to Spina. Officials read the following statement in court:
"Spina 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... 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."
Authorities said that the 25-year-old did sell the fraudulent rings with one of them even selling for a mind-boggling $337,000. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Carter after pleading guilty to five felony counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Spina has also been ordered to pay $63,000 to the former player who he had initially duped to kickstart the elaborate ring scandal.
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Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey - a tale of its own
The former sixth-round pick pulled off the most remarkable Super Bowl comeback in NFL history against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. However, he was tasked with yet another challenge - finding his missing game-winning jersey. Authorities looked everywhere to no avail until one young fan tipped off the jersey's whereabouts.
Dylan Wagner, a memorabilia collector, had been doing business with Martin Mauricio Ortega, the man who was found guilty of stealing the quarterback's iconic jersey. The businessman sent Wagner a picture of his collection and that's when the young fan noticed Brady's Super Bowl XLIX jersey, which had also gone missing.
The Patriots fan knew exactly what was going on and told authorities about the same. His information prompted them to raid Ortega's home, where the missing memorabilia was found.
It was later revealed that Ortega stole the quarterback's jerseys after attending the games with a media pass he obtained from his employer, Diario La Prensa. Ortega was fired by the Mexican newspaper shortly after the truth came to light.