Giants quarterback Eli Manning was allegedly involved in the team’s accused fake memorabilia scheme,according court documents obtained by The New York Post.
Back in 2014, the Giants were accused in an ongoing civil-racketeering lawsuit ofcreating fakegame-worn football gear to pass off as the real deal to make money from collectors and fans over the years. Now there might be proof their franchise player was involved.
Manning, who has been accused of takingpart in the scheme so he could hang on to his personal items,sent an incriminating email in 2010.Manning wasasked by his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, to satisfy a contract with memorabilia firm Steiner Sports for two game-used helmets and twogame-used jerseys.
Instead of handing over the gear, Manning sent an email to the Giants'the equipment managerJoe Skiba for “helmets that can pass as game used," court documents show.
"Manning was looking to give non-game-used helmets to Steiner to satisfy — fraudulently — his contractual obligation," the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Brian Brook, said in a statement.
"Since it appears that the Giants failed to preserve any emails between Manning and Joe Skiba, and the Giants are keeping Skiba on the payroll and paying his substantial legal bills, the above email exchange may be the only direct evidence that Manning knowingly gave fraudulent helmets to Steiner for sale to fans."
Manning turned over the incriminating email last week, butBrook claims there are others he and the Giants didn't turn over, including a previously disclosed 2008 exchange, after they won the Super Bowl.
The allegedfake memorabilia scheme dates back to at least 2004, Manning's rookie year. Thecivil-racketeeringlawsuit also claims Manning's 2008 Super Bowl-winning jersey inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame is actually fake.