LOS ANGELES (AP) — A New Jersey man who posed as a former New England Patriots player in order to buy and sell Super Bowl rings that he claimed were gifts to Tom Brady's family will plead guilty to fraud, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The plea agreement by Scott V. Spina Jr., 24, of Roseland was filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court. Spina will plead guilty to five felony charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California announced.
In 2017, Spina bought a Patriots' 2016 Super Bowl championship ring from a Patriots player who then left the team. Prosecutors said Spina paid the player — identified only as T.J. — with at least one bad check and sold the ring for $63,000 to a Southern California broker of championship rings.
“When Spina obtained the player ring, he also received the information that allowed the former player to purchase Super Bowl rings for family and friends that are slightly smaller than the player rings," the U.S. attorney's office statement said.
Spina posed as the player and ordered three rings with “Brady" engraved on them, claiming they were gifts for Brady's baby, prosecutors said.
“The rings were at no time authorized by Tom Brady," according to the criminal complaint.
Spina then sold them in November 2017 to an auction house for $100,000 — much more than he’d paid for them, prosecutors said. At a 2018 auction, one ring sold for more than $337,000.
Spina has a federal court appearance in Los Angels next month. In addition to pleading guilty, Spina agreed to repay the former Patriots player who sold him the first ring.