Has Giants memorabilia case triggered criminal probe?

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It will be somewhat easy for the NFL to look the other way on the Giants’ memorabilia fraud allegations as long as the claims arise only in civil litigation. If/when the situation morphs into  a formal criminal investigation announced by the relevant authorities, it will be harder for the NFL to choose not to apply the plain language of the Personal Conduct Policy, which expressly encompasses fraud as a prohibited behavior.

For now, it appears that the wheels of justice have been moving, quietly and behind the scenes.

Via the New York Post, “the US Postal Service has opened a probe into the Giants memorabilia scandal with the help of federal prosecutors.” The Post notes that it’s not clear whether the investigation is ongoing.

According to the Post, court papers claim that federal agents interviewed Giants equipment manager Jeff Skiba as recently as October “in connection with . . . memorabilia fraud.” Likewise, Giants’ lawyers reportedly confirmed in a court filing that the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan opened a criminal investigation immediately after the filing of the civil lawsuit.

The Post explains that the supposed smoking-gun email from Eli Manning couldn’t form the basis of criminal charges because it was sent in 2010, and the statute of limitations for criminal fraud is only five years. However, the email likely can be used as evidence of any misconduct that may have occurred within the five-year window.

Prosecutors often don’t publicly declare the existence of an investigation until they do, typically through obtaining indictments or executing search warrants. If anyone from the Giants is ever indicted for memorabilia fraud, it would become virtually impossible for the league to do nothing in response.

69 responses to “Has Giants memorabilia case triggered criminal probe?

  1. First Coughlin nailed for emails, now Manning breaking the law. The Giants Super Bowls are tainted.

    Doesn’t feel so good when the shoe is on the other foot eh Giants fans?

  2. I haven’t heard anyone approach this situation from this angle yet but why in the world do you need to pretend memorabilia is game used?

    Everything from helmets to jerseys to cleats to socks to gloves… it seems like there could easily be 30-40 different superstar-used equipment/uniform items per team per week that can legitimately be sold as “game used”.

    So if you have to pass things off as game-used, I’d think it’s cuz you already sold off all the legitimate stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how big this thing gets both in terms of $’s and fraudulence?

  3. If fraud is a “prohibited behavior” in the league, than how is it that minisoda owner, Ziggy Wilf, who has been fined $46 million for fraud hasn’t faced any level of punishment from the League?

    The more perplexing question is, how can you be fined $46 million for fraud and not be in jail?

    When you compromise with criminals, only the criminals win.

  4. So Eli isn’t as dumb as he looks or is he? Any true NFL fan knows that players only use at most 1-2 helmets a week and they have to be used the week leading up to the game per NFL rules.

  5. It’s the Giants! Much like the Jets, no matter what they do, punishment from Park ave. is non existent. Now if this was a certain team from 200 miles northeast, we all know it would be suspensions and losses of draft picks.

  6. Maybe unlike framegate, bullygate and bountygate we could put our personal prejudices aside and not hang the defendant in the court of public opinion prematurely for a change.

    Nah, didn’t think so.

  7. Peyton and Eli don’t make enough money playing football. They need to hawk crappy pizza and defraud memorabilia collectors to reach a true Manning level of income.

  8. The Mara’s have had Goodell in their pocket for years. Nothing is going to come of this any more than anything came of the illegal use of Walkie Talkies, the Giants version of deflategate, Josh Brown, or anything else that has to do with the Giant’s, Jets, Steelers, and Broncos.

    Drive a car at 156MPH with a minor at 2am, no problem. Fire a gun off and hit yourself in the leg in public place, no problem. Beat your wife. That could be a big problem on another team, but not the Giants….until you are finally caught. HGH for your pregnant wife I guess is OK, just not for the face of the league. But they will STILL maintain a boldface lie for over 2 years when it suits their purposes.

    Even the haters know that what passes for “integrity” in the NFL is a joke.

  9. Cue all of the whining crybaby no have having sissies from new england waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh

  10. Whether or not anybody committed civil or criminal fraud depends entirely on what was represented to potential buyers. So, what specifically was represented, hmm? And by whom?

    From what I can find on the interwebs, NFL players MAYBE get a new helmet each year but they can (and usually do) keep using one helmet as long as it isn’t broken. Same with shoulder pads. Rodney Harrison just said on the radio he used one helmet with the Chargers and one with the Pats, and if anybody wanted to buy his helmet they’d have to pay $20,000 or more. A lot more than the couple of thousand being talked about in manning’s case.

    What do people think they’re buying when they pay for a “game worn” helmet?

  11. cosmicconvoy says:
    Apr 15, 2017 9:26 PM

    Love how Pats fans can’t distinguish the difference between NE’s on the field cheating and Eli’s off the field merchandise prank.
    ————————————————————–

    More evidence of patriot detractor stupidity.

    Stupidgate – where countless individuals were so stupid that they lacked a basic understanding of 7th grade science that they were easily duped into believing that footballs don’t drop PSI when taken outside on cold days.

    Despite videos being posted online showing footballs dropping PSI when placed in refrigerators, countless nimrods still subscribe to Roger Goodell science denying belief claiming that someone let air out of footballs.

    One video can be found on the popular online video site. Just search for “DEFLATE GATE & WHY SCIENCE SAYS THE PATRIOTS DID NOT TAMPER WITH FOOTBALLS”

  12. Okay, I get it now. Eli had a marketing contract and had to supply some authentic gear he used. He either (allegedly) got lazy and didn’t fulfill stuff unil too late or didn’t want to sell his own stuff. So he doctored some up.

    Very interesting to watch this grow legs.

  13. In RI if you write a bad check of $500 or greater its criminal fraud. I expect a lot more money than that changed hands over these items. I don’t know what NY / NJ laws on fraud are but I expect there are similar thresholds.

    If it turns out to be true that Eli passed fraudulent items off to fans he should face criminal charges.

    But all it is right now is an “if he did it”. Until its proved all it is is an allegation.

  14. “Love how Pats fans can’t distinguish the difference between NE’s on the field cheating and Eli’s off the field merchandise prank.”

    So what about the Giant’s on field cheating with walkie talkies this past season? How do you feel about that?

    And I can only imagine the vitriol you’d be posting if this was Tom Brady and a “merchandise prank”

  15. I would maintain this is far worse than “Deflategate”. You have multiple members of the Giants organization including it’s star quarterback, equipment people committing fraud, mail fraud, grand theft, theft by deception etc to the tune of probably hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    How is this not an integrity issue and a black eye on the NFL???

  16. Reddzen
    ————-
    PFT is a site started by a lawyer who talks football and brings an interesting perspective on business practices, laws, etc. that other sites don’t dive into. Personally, I find this perspective interesting and is one of the reasons I come here.

    If you want bland NFL articles that always paint the Shield in a positive light… I recommend ESPN or NFL.com

  17. patfanken says:
    Apr 15, 2017 9:16 PM
    The Mara’s have had Goodell in their pocket for years. Nothing is going to come of this any more than anything came of the illegal use of Walkie Talkies, the Giants version of deflategate, Josh Brown, or anything else that has to do with the Giant’s, Jets, Steelers, and Broncos.

    Drive a car at 156MPH with a minor at 2am, no problem. Fire a gun off and hit yourself in the leg in public place, no problem. Beat your wife. That could be a big problem on another team, but not the Giants….until you are finally caught. HGH for your pregnant wife I guess is OK, just not for the face of the league. But they will STILL maintain a boldface lie for over 2 years when it suits their purposes.

    Even the haters know that what passes for “integrity” in the NFL is a joke.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Another moron who neglects facts that get in the way of their argument. Josh Brown was not a member of the Giants when he supposedly hit his wife. That was years before he joined the team. He threatened his wife while a Giant, and was reventually released when the whole truth came out.

    Plaxico Burress was sent to jail after shooting himself and it essentially ended his career. But I guess jail is not s consequence for idiots.

    The Giants SELF-REPORTED the issue with their walkie talkies. That means they told the league what had happened right after the game. They had no advantage whatsoever by using these walkie talkies, but still received a consequence by having their 4th round pick pushed back to the last pick in that round.

    The Maras are one of the owners who helped build the league from start to the empire that it is now, along with the Rooneys, Hunts, etc. You expect the league to treat them the same way as Shad Khan, who has owned the Jacksonville Jaguars for only a few years? Put it this way. You’ve run a business for 50 years and find out 2 employees were caught up in a scandal outside your company. One employee has worked at your company since you opened 50 years ago and helped turn it into a hugely successful powerhouse. The other employee just started working with you a few years ago and hasn’t brought much to your company since being hired. Would you look at those 2 employees equally? Of course not. Well, actually, maybe you would.

  18. It would be nice if the NFL demonstrated the transparency that Roger Goodell pledged in 2014 and issued a press release containing the PSI information from the 2015 NFL season prior to the 2017 NFL Draft.

  19. Hey giants fans, karma is coming for you….I hope and pray that we meet those punks in the SB. Calling a 3 TD butt whooping right now. Only thing left in the agenda to close this all up.

  20. The Mannings are football royalty. Mara, Tisch, Goodell and Archie Manning will be working overtime and employing the right people to ensure that nothing happens to Eli.
    Even if the allegations are true, Eli will be absolved because he plays for the Giants and he is a Manning.
    Isn’t it time for them to manufacture a Johnny Manziel scandal or a Tebow girlfriend sighting as a distraction from Eli’s grubby memorabilia ripoff?

  21. Patriots fans are upset because Mara was one of the leading figures who went after Tom Brady with such flimsy evidence. At least Goodell faced the music at the Super Bowl. Mara hasn’t and just gets away with so much.

  22. Pats Cheetah fans………….ignore, deny, deflect. You have been busted twice, upheld by the US courts. Get over it or just move to Mexico. Enjoy SB 51 and just stop your crying!

  23. alan226 says:
    Apr 15, 2017 10:23 PM
    I would maintain this is far worse than “Deflategate”. You have multiple members of the Giants organization including it’s star quarterback, equipment people committing fraud, mail fraud, grand theft, theft by deception etc to the tune of probably hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    How is this not an integrity issue and a black eye on the NFL???

    —————————————————

    you cannot use the word integrity and the NFL is the same sentence….something like oil and water

  24. Since gullible dupes still believe that the NFL is entitled to seize personal telephones, isn’t it time for NFL to start grabbing phones from the entire Giants team?

    Plus it’s long overdue for the NFL to grab many of the personal phones of the Steelers and the Giants to determine who let air out of footballs in that 2016 week 13 game.

    Any word on when the NFL plans on issuing the press release containing the PSI information collected during the 2015 season?

  25. decapitateme says:
    Apr 15, 2017 10:42 PM

    Pats Cheetah fans………….ignore, deny, deflect. You have been busted twice, upheld by the US courts. Get over it or just move to Mexico. Enjoy SB 51 and just stop your crying!

    ——————————————————————-
    Manipulate the system by picking a court in NY that you think will help you railroad Tom Brady. Lose because federal judge Richard M. Berman is competent.

    Double down on stupid and appeal the loss. Get two lazy judges that were apparently influenced by media headlines to rule in your favor.

    Cringe after Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann actually understands the facts and issues a dissenting opinion that slams your case.Triple down on stupid and reinstate the suspension. Publically gloat on the eve of the 2016 draft because you actually won 2 to 1.

    2 judges also ruled against the NFL. One them was a Chief justice. Science also continues to rule against the NFL and will do so until the end of time.

  26. Sending the email is not a crime. Nor is it evidence of a crime. If it is later found out that Eli sold products that were not in fact game worn, then the email can be used as evidence of intent

  27. An intriguing question here is why was the earlier case dismissed? Jurisdictional grounds? And why wasnt it dismissed with prejudice? Sounds like Eli is going to have a hard time explaining this one but rest assured, he will hire the best attorneys to make it disappear. Successful pro athletes and celbrities always do.

  28. I am a huge Patriots fan. I didn’t like the last ‘gate, and don’t want to see a smear for a small amount of money or a few tenths of a PSI for any team, ever again.

    For the hardcore fans, I bet if you look around you could find some ‘game worn’ items on eBay from Thailand or China to impress your friends,. Everything would be like $40 bucks, too!

  29. If true, Eli’s one of the biggest phonies in the world. And unbelievably stupid. How much could he possibly have made doing this? A million? Compare that to what he makes in endorsements. Endorsements he’ll most likely lose if found guilty.

    If the rewards aren’t worth the risk, don’t do it.

  30. Please, do you think anyone in NY cares about his non story that will be forgotten in a week?

    In 25 years they’ll still be talking about the perfect season that was ruined by the greatest throw in football history.

    4 Super Bowl victories and the only game you’ll remember is that one.

  31. You would think this would be a major concern of the NFL as one of their franchises along with its QB 1 have been knowingly ripping off fans with fake products. This ranks up there with knowingly altering game balls. Eli Manning was more than generally aware of a scam to defraud customers with fake memorabilia, he initiated the entire scam. How do you not take serious action against the franchise and player for putting the leagues integrity into question.

  32. The league has been favoring the giants for years what makes anybody think this will be any different is beyond me

  33. Fraudger will find a way to avert his eyes from this, regardless.
    Eli /Mara are NFL royalty and the New York Injury Fakers are a 345 Park Avenue Home Team.
    ALWAYS get favoritism from the NFL.

  34. dawoger says:
    Apr 15, 2017 8:48 PM
    If fraud is a “prohibited behavior” in the league, than how is it that minisoda owner, Ziggy Wilf, who has been fined $46 million for fraud hasn’t faced any level of punishment from the League?

    The more perplexing question is, how can you be fined $46 million for fraud and not be in jail?

    When you compromise with criminals, only the criminals win.
    —————————–
    Ziggy may not be a man of great business integrity, but this was civil fraud, not criminal fraud. If this was criminal fraud, then U.S. Attorney or the New Jersey Attorney General would have gotten involved.

  35. I think the reference to getting away with shooting oneself in the leg in a public place was to Talib since Broncos were on that list. It’s not always about the Giants

  36. “I think the reference to getting away with shooting oneself in the leg in a public place was to Talib since Broncos were on that list. It’s not always about the Giants”

    That’s true. The favored five of the Giants, Steelers, Jets, Ravens and Colts get away with a lot of things other teams are punished for. Sometimes it is about one of the other 4 covering up and not getting punished for things.

  37. I think the reference to getting away with shooting oneself in the leg in a public place was to Talib since Broncos were on that list. It’s not always about the Giants.
    _________________________________
    No state or federal laws were broken by Talib. Having said that, he is a major idiot!

  38. If true, Eli’s one of the biggest phonies in the world. And unbelievably stupid. How much could he possibly have made doing this? A million? Compare that to what he makes in endorsements. Endorsements he’ll most likely lose if found guilty.

    If the rewards aren’t worth the risk, don’t do it.
    _____________________________
    Great post!

  39. decapitateme says:
    Apr 16, 2017 2:56 PM
    I think the reference to getting away with shooting oneself in the leg in a public place was to Talib since Broncos were on that list. It’s not always about the Giants.
    _________________________________
    No state or federal laws were broken by Talib. Having said that, he is a major idiot!

    ———–

    Discharging a weapon in a public establishment isn’t against the law? Think again….

  40. just how deep does this corruption go between
    mara and goodell?

    last year’s cover ups may be just the tip of the ice berg

    what else have they been behind?

    hmm

  41. footballfan72 says:
    Apr 15, 2017 8:54 PM

    So Eli isn’t as dumb as he looks or is he? Any true NFL fan knows that players only use at most 1-2 helmets a week and they have to be used the week leading up to the game per NFL rules.
    _________________________

    No. eli is as dumb as he looks. He’s just so practiced at the act of cheating, like all mannings are.

  42. FlaJoe says:
    Apr 15, 2017 10:00 PM

    Caveat Emptor! Stop buying that crap and none of this happens!
    ____________________-

    Some people just have too much money. Me? I’d rather reinvest it back into a well diversified portfolio of equities.

  43. Don’t forget the doctoring of footballs Eli does for nine months before using them, including scrubbing them with a wire brush, soaking them in water, and putting them in an oven, just so he can get a good grip on them. I would think that’s more of a big deal and competitive advantage than the confusion over the effect of weather on footballs, but it’s a Manning, so we don’t talk about that. I admire the effort, heart, and work ethic, and personal accountability of Tom Brady more and more every day. There’s nothing to not like about that guy.

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