LOS ANGELES — A New Jersey man who lied about his identity to order Super Bowl rings by claiming they were gifts for quarterback Tom Brady’s child was sentenced to three years in prison Monday, prosecutors said.
Scott Spina Jr., 25, sold the rings to an auction house for $100,000 in 2017.
He pleaded guilty in February to mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said in a statement.
The scheme started in September 2017, when Spina bought a Super Bowl 51 ring from a New England Patriots player who was no longer with the team, according to court documents. The player is referred to only as “T.J.”
In the deal, Spina got a document with a web address for the company that sells Super Bowl rings, along with T.J.’s username and password.
Spina then posed as the former player and ordered three “family and friends” Super Bowl rings by falsely saying they were gifts for Brady’s baby. Brady did not have a baby at the time.
Spina had the name “Brady” engraved on each one. The family versions are slightly smaller than the players’ rings but are otherwise similar.
Spina then tried to sell them to a dealer in California. That fell through after the dealer got suspicious, and Spina sold the three to an auction house for $100,000, according to court documents. One of the rings went on to sell for $337,219 at an auction.
Spina’s attorney did not immediately reply to a request for comment Monday night.
The attorney argued in a court document that Spina was 19 years old when the fraud occurred and that he had already committed to turning his life around during a previous prison term for fraud.
“I am no longer that young, reckless, and selfish person,” Spina wrote in a letter to U.S. District Judge David O. Carter accompanying the sentencing memorandum.
The scam began months after Brady and the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 in February 2017 by beating the Atlanta Falcons.
Brady would go to win another Super Bowl with the Patriots — Super Bowl 53 in February 2019, which at the time was his sixth. In 2020, Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and led them to a win in Super Bowl 55, his seventh.
In addition to 36 months in prison, Spina was also ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution to the unnamed former Patriots player, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Spina bilked the player by paying with at least one bad check, the office said.
In 2018, Spina was sentenced to 35 months in prison for failing to deliver high-end sneakers and other items to customers who bought them and for stealing his customers’ credit card information, according to officials.
Spina was then charged in December in the fraud involving Super Bowl family rings and agreed to plead guilty, prosecutors said.
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