In a win for the FBI’s art crime team, a New Jersey man got a three-year prison sentence on Monday for fraudulently obtaining and then selling Tom Brady’s Super Bowl rings. Scott Spina, Jr., 25, was also ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution to the former New England Patriots quarterback, who won six Super Bowl championships with the team between 2001 and 2018 and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the Department of Justice, Spina posed as a former Patriots player in 2017 to buy family versions of Brady’s 2016 ring, which were available from the official ring company to be purchased as gifts for Brady’s relatives, along with other memorabilia. Spina then sold the rings to an auction house.
The scheme began in 2017, the DOJ said, when Spina would have been 20 years old. He bought a 2016 ring from a player who had left the Patriots — paying with a bad check — and quickly sold it for $63,000 to a championship ring broker in Orange County, California, where the charges were later filed. When Spina purchased the ring from the former player, he also received information that would have allowed the former player to purchase Super Bowl rings for family and friends.
He went on to order three rings, posing as the departed player, and got each engraved with Brady’s name, claiming they were gifts for one of Brady’s kids. “The rings were at no time authorized by Tom Brady,” court documents said. “Defendant Spina intended to obtain the three rings by fraud and to sell them at a substantial profit.”
Spina told the same ring broker he’d gotten the engraved rings after they’d been given to Brady’s nephews. The broker initially agreed but got jumpy about the deal, thinking Brady might not have any nephews (he does, but it was still a good call on the part of that broker). Spina instead sold the rings to an auction house for $100,000. In February 2018, one ring was auctioned for $337,219.
Earlier this year, Spina pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft — for impersonating the Patriots player — and three counts of wire fraud.