August 30, 2022
A New Jersey man who posed as a former New England Patriots player and acquired three versions of the team's 2016 Super Bowl ring that were intended for players family members and then auctioned off the the rings, claiming they had belong to Tom Brady's nephews, has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.
Scott V. Spina Jr. of Roseland, in North Jersey, additionally purchased a Super Bowl LI ring from a player who left the team – identified only as "T.J." in court records – in September 2017 for $32,000. Spina paid for the ring with at least one bad check, and later sold it for $63,000 to a championship ring broker in Orange County, California.
Spina, 25, pretended to be that former player when he contacted the ring maker to have the family versions of ring made. Federal prosecutors said he ordered three family and friend Super Bowl rings with the name "Brady" engraved on each and described the rings as gifts for quarterback's baby.
The friends and family rings are slightly smaller versions of the players' rings.
"The rings were at no time authorized by Tom Brady," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said. "Defendant Spina intended to obtain the three rings by fraud and sell them at a substantial profit."
Spina had a deal to sell the rings to the same Orange County broker for $81,500, now claiming they had been gifts for Brady's nephews, but the buyer became suspicious and tried to back out of the deal in November 2017. That same day, Spina sold the rings to an auction house for $100,000. During an auction in February 2018, one of the family rings sold fro $337,219.
In addition to the prison time, Spina was ordered to pay $63,000 restitution to the player who sold him the original ring. The Los Angeles Times reported that the player was an offensive lineman drafted from Florida State University in 2015 who was injured the entire season that the Patriots made their Super Bowl run in 2017. He was released at the end of the season.
Spina had pleaded guilty on Feb. 1 to mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft as part of a deal with prosecutors. In the plea agreement, he admitted to defrauding the Orange County broker by falsely claiming that the rings were purchased for Brady and to making three fraudulent wire transfers used for the deposits on the family rings.