Collector who used fake Heisman as collateral pleads guilty

March 7, 2017 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — An Arkansas sports memorabilia collector who federal prosecutors say defrauded investors by offering a phony Heisman Trophy as collateral for a $100,000 loan has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

John Rogers, of North Little Rock, entered his plea Monday in Chicago federal court. He says his motivation was “just greed” and also admitted to selling inauthentic memorabilia. He faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced Sept. 12.

Prosecutors say Rogers took a ceremonial Heisman Trophy that was awarded in 1960 to the emcee of the awards banquet and affixed a new nameplate, making it appear as if it had been recognized as the top college football player of the year. Rogers’ trophy purported to be from Oklahoma running back Billy Sims, who won in 1978.