Fat Joe’s former business partner at Up NYC, Scott Spina (pictured below), has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to court documents, 20-year-old Spina's fraudulent practices went beyond the sneaker store. He's been charged with fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain more than $750,000 in money or goods. In addition to defrauding his celebrity clientele, Spina admitted to making purchases using his customers' credit card information and making false claims of unauthorised charges to his own accounts.
Up NYC was hit with allegations of credit card fraud over a year ago, with claims centred on unauthorised charges flagged by the store's payment processing company. The store’s then-teenage co-founder Spina was accused of responsibility. These charges, along with the new wire fraud accusations, are yet to go to trial.
Spina began selling sneakers online as a teenager and eventually got contacted on social media by NFL running back Brandon Jacobs to personally deliver a pair to the team's facility. The teenager soon became acquainted with other celebrities, leading to his working relationship with Fat Joe.
Spina had originally filed a lawsuit against Fat Joe, claiming he was forced out of Up NYC and banned despite putting nearly $500,000 of his own money into the store. Those charges were dismissed last year.
Spina’s trial will take place on July 23. We’ll keep you posted on the saga.