The New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning have been accused of distributing fraudulent memorabilia.
According to a a civil-racketeering, breach-of-contract, malicious-prosecution and trade-libel suit filed Wednesday in Bergen County Superior Court, a helmet on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is not what it claims to be.
The helmet is allegedly the one that Manning wore during Super Bowl XLII, but the suit claims that helmet is a fake.
A report in the New York Post states that sports memorabilia collector Eric Inselberg says the helmet in Canton is one of many forgeries passed along by the team as they “repeatedly engaged in the distribution of fraudulent Giants memorabilia.”
“When the Government came knocking on the Giants’ door, the response was a coverup that threw Inselberg under the bus to protect themselves and the team,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit says that there is an email from the team’s equipment manager Joe Skiba showing he knew that the memorabilia is a fake.
New York’s dry cleaner, Barry Barone, is also named as a defendant in the case, for allegedly doctoring jerseys to appear that they were worn during games. He is a defendant alongside Skiba, Manning, owner John Mara, team lawyer William Heller, CFO Christine Procops, locker room manager Ed Wagner Jr. and equipment manager Ed Skiba.
This could get ugly.
Of course, as far as the Giants are concerned, the lawsuit has “no merit.”
Giants treasurer Jonathan Tisch said on @boomerandcarton that suit reported in NYP is “no merit.” But no comment beyond that.
— Neil Best (@sportswatch) January 30, 2014