By J.P. McCormick, Summer Associate
For those of you that are like me, you going through Sunday football withdrawal, and are counting down the days until Opening Day for baseball (sorry NBA and NHL).A sports memorabilia dealer, however, is trying to keep things interesting for us, and has sued the New York Giants. Eric Inselberg, a former Giants business associate, is suing the organization, not for breaking my heart this past season, but for allegedly selling doctored jerseys and helmets to make them appear used.
Inselberg had a long standing relationship with the Giants, and for years bought legitimate jerseys and other items directly from the team, some of which wwere worn in games and some new. In a recently filed civil lawsuit, he alleges that quarterback Eli Manning, and other players and executives, directed various staff members to make the jerseys and helmets appear as if they had been used in games, and sell them according.
Inselberg’s attorneys insist that he is merely trying to recoup losses suffered by a 2011 indictment for two counts of mail fraud. He was being investigated pursuant to a joint task force between the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, addressing allegations of sports memorabilia fraud, particularly where dealers were falsely claiming that NFL gear was worn in-game. The lawsuit claims that in 2010 and 2011, members of the New York Giants were questioned regarding how much used apparel they sold to Inselberg, and lied to the investigators to protect themselves from the investigation. And then, based on the discrepancy of what the Giants told investigators, and what Inselberg claimed to have purchased from them as game-worn, he was investigated and charges were brought against him.
In May of 2013, an Illinois federal judge dismissed the criminal lawsuit against Inselberg. He claims that as a result of the lawsuit he lost millions of dollars in lost business, owes $700,000 in legal fees, and suffered emotional harm. The Giants have not remained silent about the lawsuit, and a spokesperson has said that Inselberg’s lawsuit is “completely without any merit whatsoever and we will defend it vigorously.”
We will continue to monitor this situation, and keep everyone updated as it evolves. In the meantime, let us know what you think about this on Facebook or on Twitter, @CLDDS.
J.P. McCormick is in his third year at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where he is an Executive Editor for the University of New Hampshire Law Review. Upon finishing his third year of law school, J.P. intends to practice in New Jersey, and is interested in all aspects of civil law. You can follow him on Twitter @JP_McCormick.