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Heisman bronze model. Woodbury Auction image.

Memorabilia collector gets 12 years in prison for fraud

Heisman bronze model. Woodbury Auction image.
This is a bronze model of the Heisman Trophy, unrelated to the court case. Woodbury Auction image

CHICAGO (AP) – An Arkansas sports memorabilia collector has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for what a federal judge in Chicago described as a “breathtaking” fraud.

John Rogers of North Little Rock, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud. Prosecutors have said Rogers defrauded investors by offering a phony Heisman Trophy as collateral for a $100,000 loan.

The Heisman Memorial Trophy, more commonly known as simply the “Heisman Trophy,” is college football’s top prize. It is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in American college football, whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports prosecutors say Rogers continued to commit fraud after entering his guilty plea, this time involving a phony Super Bowl I game ball.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Wednesday described Rogers’ actions as “monumentally stupid.”

Before his sentencing Rogers looked at his oldest son in court and said, ” I screwed it up.”  The 44-year-old said he didn’t think of his son when he was “doing these things.”


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times,

Auction Central News contributed to this report.

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