Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Selling Tom Brady Super Bowl Rings to Orange County Broker

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
February 3, 2022Updated: February 3, 2022

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty to posing as a former New England Patriots player in order to purchase “family” versions of Tom Brady’s 2016 Super Bowl ring and to selling them to an Orange County sports ring broker, according to court papers obtained on Feb. 2.

Scott V. Spina Jr., of Roseland, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Tuesday via Zoom in Santa Ana federal court to one count of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft in the scheme in which he purchased three Super Bowl rings engraved with the name “Brady” and offered them for sale with the false claim that Brady had given the rings to relatives, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Spina faces a mandatory minimum of two years behind bars at his sentencing on May 23 and agreed to pay restitution to the former Patriots player whose identity he used.

The scheme began five years ago when Spina purchased a Super Bowl LI ring awarded to the ex-Patriots player, identified in court papers as “J.T.”

Spina, who bilked the athlete by paying with a bad check, sold the ring soon after for $63,000 to an Orange County-based broker of championship rings identified by the initials S.W. The initials correspond to Scott Welkowsky, an Orange County man who runs the website Rings Of Champions and deals in genuine championship rings.

When Spina obtained the player ring, he also received log-in information that allowed the former player to purchase special Super Bowl rings for family and friends that are slightly smaller than the player rings.

“Spina then called the Ring Company, fraudulently identified himself as [the former player], and started ordering three family and friend Super Bowl LI rings with the name ‘Brady’ engraved on each one, which he falsely represented were gifts for the baby of quarterback Tom Brady,” prosecutors wrote in December when Spina agreed to plead guilty. “The rings were at no time authorized by Tom Brady. Defendant Spina intended to obtain the three rings by fraud and to sell them at a substantial profit.”

Spina entered into an agreement with S.W. to sell the broker the three family rings that Spina claimed Brady had given to his nephews. After agreeing to buy the three rings for $81,500—nearly three times what Spina paid for the rings—the buyer started to believe that Brady did not have nephews, and he tried to withdraw from the deal.

The same day that the buyer tried to back out, and the same day that Spina actually received the rings in November 2017, Spina immediately sold them to an auction house for $100,000. During an auction in February 2018, one of the family rings was sold for $337,219.

In his plea agreement, Spina admitted that he defrauded the Orange County sports ring broker when he falsely claimed that the rings “were ordered for Tom Brady directly from [the Ring Company] for select family members.”

Spina also admitted that he defrauded S.W. in relation to three wire transfers for the deposit on the family rings. Spina further admitted he committed identity theft when he posed as the former Patriot to purchase the rings.