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Lawyer says email shows Eli Manning defrauded memorabilia collectors

Eli Manning is the subject of a fraud lawsuit over memorabilia and Mike Florio looks at the legal ramifications that could happen to the quarterback.

A significant piece of evidence has emerged in the longstanding lawsuit pitting sports memorabilia collectors against the Giants and Eli Manning.

An email sent from Manning to the Giants’ equipment manager in 2010 requested “2 helmets that can pass as game used,” according to court documents obtained by the New York Post. That email, according to plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian Brook, shows that Manning was knowingly passing off any old Giants helmets as helmets he actually wore in games. Manning is accused of working with memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports to sell helmets to fans who thought they were buying authentic game-used gear.

Brook told the Post that the email represents “direct evidence that Manning knowingly gave fraudulent helmets to Steiner for sale to fans.”

The email had not previously been disclosed. Brook accused the Giants of deleting emails that could have reflected badly on the team in this case, but this email came from Manning’s personal account. Brook did credit Manning and his attorneys for disclosing the email.

In a statement, lawyers for the Giants said the email was taken out of context.

The defendants in the case include not only Manning and Steiner Sports but also the Giants, the team’s equipment manager and others.