A fake NFL star has been sentenced to several years in prison for fraud. As the AP news agency reported, the 25-year-old man posed as a former New England Patriots player in order to buy and sell valuable Super Bowl rings with the name of superstar Tom Brady, among other things.
A court in Santa Ana, California, found the man guilty of aggravated identity theft and check and mail fraud on Monday (local time). The 25-year-old faces three years in prison. It’s not his first sentence: According to his lawyers, he was released in 2020 after serving 35 months on another count of fraud.
The New Jersey man bought a Super Bowl ring from a former Patriots player in 2017, paid for it with at least one bad check, and then sold the ring to a dealer for $63,000. The man now has to pay this sum back to the Patriots player as compensation.
He later pretended to be a team player in order to order so-called family rings from the manufacturer. According to the court, he had this engraved with “Brady” in order to also sell it to the broker. He claimed Brady gave them to his nephews. “The rings were never authorized by Tom Brady,” the criminal complaint said.
Because the dealer backed out of the deal over doubts about the claim, the 25-year-old sold the rings to an auction house for $100,000, according to the court. On February 18, 2018, auction house Goldin Auctions sold a family ring engraved with “Brady” for a record $344,927, according to ESPN. The auction house did not provide any information about the buyer or the circumstances of the ring’s acquisition.
In the National Football League (NFL), all players and team members of a Super Bowl winner receive high-quality rings as a personal tribute. The owners can then have a ten percent smaller version made as a gift for family members and friends. Tom Brady has won the Super Bowl seven times.