Jeff Bonty | Feb 26, 2019


KANKAKEE —Todd A Stickel, of Bradley, pleaded guilty to selling fake sports jerseys on Friday.

Stickel was arrested in November 2015 by Bradley police for allegedly peddling fake sports jerseys worth about $500,000.

Per the plea agreement, Stickel was sentenced by Judge Clark Erickson to 36-months reporting probation. He must pay $72,158.62 in restitution to a company that collects royalties on the jerseys for professional sports leagues. He was assessed $36,079.31 in fees.

Stickel said he paid between $40 and $60 per jersey and sold them for between $99 and $199.

The unusual bust followed an investigation by both a private investigator hired by pro leagues, as well as the Department of Homeland Security.

The 50-year-old Stickel was arrested at his home Nov. 12, 2015, where investigators found 2,700 jerseys estimated at close to $500,000.

A Department of Homeland Security agent contacted officials after a package containing 58 jerseys was intercepted. The knockoff jerseys were made outside the U.S., tacking on additional state and federal trademark law violations.

Stickel apparently had been warned by U.S. Customs officials to stop selling the jerseys on at least two occasions. They said he had been selling the jerseys for several years.

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