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Westport Man Gets 18 Months In Prison For Yankee Stadium Dirt Scam

Westport resident Mark Hayward will serve 18 months in prison for defrauding a man out of more than $50,000 through a Yankee Stadium memorabilia scam.
Westport resident Mark Hayward will serve 18 months in prison for defrauding a man out of more than $50,000 through a Yankee Stadium memorabilia scam. Photo Credit: Contributed: Fairfield Police

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport resident Mark Hayward was sentenced Thursday to serve 18 months in prison for defrauding a Fairfield man out of more than $50,000 through a Yankee Stadium memorabilia scam, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Cornelius Kelly said.

Hayward, 54, was found guilty by a jury of first-degree larceny in May. His sentence was handed down in Bridgeport by Superior Court Judge John Blawie.

The fraud began in 2008, when Hayward convinced the victim to invest $34,000 in a business selling key chains filled with dirt from the demolished Yankee Stadium.

Hayward promised the man a 20 percent return on the investment, but in 2009, began delaying payments to the investor, citing cash flow problems.

Hayward later approached the man for a $50,100 loan, which he obtained by showing the man letters purportedly from Barclays Bank in England explaining that Hayward had more than $1 million in pending deposits. The letters were later determined to be fakes, said Kelly, who represented the victim.

Although the victim lost more than $80,000 through the scam, Kelly said they sought prosecution for the $50,100 loan.

“The victim agreed that the $34,000 he gave Hayward was a poor investment,” Kelly said. “But the $50,100 loan was obtained fraudulently.”

As part of his sentence, Hayward will serve five years probation after he is released. He was also ordered to make restitution in the amount of $50,000.

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