It's been little less than a week since news broke of a bombshell lawsuit that accused the New York Giants, quarterback Eli Manning and several other members of the organization of knowingly creating and distributing fake "game-used" memorabilia for upwards of a decade. And with official statements having been released by the team and Manning, as well as counter-statements by the attorney for Eric Inselberg, who is a New Jersey sports collector and memorabilia dealer at the heart of the lawsuit, all has fallen quiet on the legal front.
However, while speaking about a second New York/New Jersey Super Bowl this past Sunday, Giants co-owner John Mara briefly opened up about the accusations and stated confidently that he expects the case to be thrown out of court.
“It’s a frivolous suit. And, unfortunately, it’s the cost of doing business in this day and age — that people sue you and you have to defend yourselves," Mara said. "And, unfortunately, the filing of the lawsuit always brings a lot more attention than the ultimate dismissal of the lawsuit. We’re very confident that this lawsuit will be dismissed, and I just hope that it receives a little bit of attention when it does because it is tough to have to deal with lawsuits like that, particularly this week. We’re going to vigorously defend ourselves and we’re very confident that this will be thrown out of court.”
In addition to allegations of creation and distribution of fake "games-used" memorabilia, the lawsuit also claims that the Giants used ideas and profited off of meetings provided by long-time sports memorabilia collector and reseller, Eric Inselberg. Further, the lawsuit claims that Giants brass "coerced, convinced, manipulated, persuaded, instructed and intimidated" members of their staff to lie to a Grand Jury and the FBI.
The lawsuit, which can be read here, also includes an e-mail exchange between Inselberg and Giants equipment director Joe Skiba which sets out to show the that fraudulent memorabilia was, in fact, purposely created and circulated.
In full, the suit names: New York Giants, Inc., quarterback Eli Manning, co-owner John Mara, equipment director Joe Skiba, assistant equipment director Ed Skiba, team CFO Christine Procops, team lawyer William Heller, team dry cleaner Barry Barone and locker-room manager Ed Wagner Jr. as defendants.
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