Eli Manning memorabilia fraud case going to trial next month

A judge ordered on Thursday that the memorabilia fraud case against Eli Manning and the New York Giants will go to trial next month. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Eli Manning’s legal troubles aren’t going away anytime soon.

A New Jersey judge ordered on Thursday that the fraud claims against the New York Giants and their quarterback in a civil case will go to trial next month, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Per the report, Judge James DeLuca “issued a summary judgement decision on various claims” from three collectors against the quarterback, memorabilia company Steiner Sports, Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba, Giants co-owner John Mara and others.

Manning’s legal team has attempted to have the claims dismissed in the lawsuit, which was first filed in 2014. The lawsuit claims that Manning and the Giants got collectors to purchase what they thought was authentic gear used in NFL games, including a pair of helmets that were thought to be Manning’s.

Skiba had nearly all claims against him dismissed on Thursday. He was accused of making two Manning helmets that were passed off as game-used and sold to collectors by Steiner Sports. The judge, though, said that Skiba “never profited off of the exchange of the helmets,” and he didn’t “directly represent the items as game-used to consumers.”

Evidence implicating Manning came to light last year, when emails filed with the court showed Manning asking Skiba for “2 helmets that can pass as game used.”

The Giants issued a statement through their lawyers shortly after the email came to light, saying that “the email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday.”

It continued: “The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server. … Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.”

The judge failed to dismiss the claims against Manning, who, per Rovell, “is the only defendant who the judge found could have possibly violated common law fraud.” The judge also denied Manning’s motion to waive the claim against him of consumer fraud.

Manning is set to enter his 15th year in the NFL, and will attempt to bounce back from last season’s 3-14 finish. The trial is set to begin on May 14.

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