Marketing agent Mike Ornstein, a mentor to Reggie Bush, personal friend of Sean Payton's and regular at Saints headquarters, has pled guilty to fraud involving the re-sale of Super Bowl tickets over multiple years and the fraudulent sale of "game-worn" jerseys that were not authentic.
Ornstein, near the center of Bush's NCAA investigation involving prohibited benefits and the jilting of one "marketing agent" for another, also has close ties to the football program at USC. Reggie Bush was an intern for Ornstein's agency while a student athlete at USC.
The charges in an ongoing investigation boil down to money - making money by selling league-allotted Super Bowl ticket for profit and selling fake "game-worn" jerseys for profit. Fraudulent, counterfeit or unlicensed sports paraphernalia is a large and growing illegal business world-wide. Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently made a large bust of fake Super Bowl XLIV and NFL merchandise in New Orleans over the summer.
Ornstein plead down the charges over time, and is likely cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation as part of his plea bargain.
The Saints have denied any association to Ornstein and the charges he plead guilty to over the summer. More information is available at this article that scooped the story in the Sports Business Daily.
Stay with us here at NOPF, I will have more information on this story and Ornstein in the days to come.