Timeline: How Gators’ credit card fraud case unfolded

Suspended UF players
Nine suspended Florida football players could face felony charges. They are, top row from the left, Antonio Callaway, Keivonnis Davis, James Houston IV, Ventrell Miller and Rick Wells, and, bottom row from left, Jordan Scarlett, Jordan Smith, Kadeem Telfort and Richerd Desir-Jones.

The investigation into alleged credit card fraud took another step Monday when sworn complaint affidavits against the nine previously suspended University of Florida football players revealed the possibility of a combined 62 third-degree felony charges.

With the UPD investigation complete, the State Attorney’s office will decide whether to file charges against the nine Gators who racked up a combined $17,056.31 in fraudulent charges.

If you haven’t followed the case up to this point, this timeline, based on sworn complaints, will help you catch up on how the investigation began, the evidence outlined in the sworn affidavits and what might happen next.

The investigation begins

On Aug. 15, the University of Florida Police Department responded to an alert from UF Business Services Division Associate Director David Looney and electronic technician Michael Chambers about two students adding unusually high amounts (more than $1,500) to their UF bookstore pre-paid accounts. Students typically added $300 at most at one time for textbooks, the sworn complaint said.

Looney informed officers that the two accounts had also received multiple “chargebacks” over the previous couple months, which is when the cardholder disputes the charge after the purchase. Looney explained that the bookstore typically saw about five chargebacks a year, and any more than that raised eyebrows. UPD learned that one account belonged to Gators defensive end Jordan Smith, with the other belonging to the girlfriend of UF running back Jordan Scarlett.

From there, the investigation found similar transactions from accounts belonging to seven other Gators football players: Antonio Callaway, Keivonnis Davis, Richerd Desir-Jones, James Houston, Ventrell Miller, Kadeem Telfort and Rick Wells.

Over the next five weeks, further investigation revealed a total of 15 stolen credit cards, with multiple players possessing illegally obtained identification information from people who told investigators they had never met any of the nine UF players.

A timeline of fraudulent charges

Based on the criminal complaints, the fraudulent charges began at the end of June and spanned until mid-August.

JUNE 26 – Kadeem Telfort makes four unsuccessful attempts to add $500+ to his UF bookstore debit account before successfully adding $650 to his account from a credit card belonging to a Hoschton, Georgia, resident. The next day, Telfort purchases a iPad from the UF bookstore for $424.94. The victim disputed the charge as fraudulent, later informing investigators he did not know any UF students.

JUNE 30 – Rick Wells Jr. successfully adds $875 to his UF Bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to another person. Later that day, Wells goes to the UF Bookstore and purchases two Apple iPads. The total for the order was $849.97. At checkout, the clerk accidentally charged Wells’ UAA scholarship account instead of his UF Bookstore account. Management at the store later contacted Wells and requested the items be returned, as he was barred from purchasing electronic merchandise with his UAA scholarship account. Before he could return the iPads, however, management informed him they charged his UF Bookstore account and credited his scholarship account and that he was set.

JULY 1 – Telfort adds $500 to his UF bookstore account by using a credit card belonging to another man. Later that day, Telfort goes back to the UF bookstore and purchases an iPad Mini. He also purchases AppleCare, bringing the total purchase to $509.07. The man disputed the charges as fraudulent.

JULY 5 – Telfort adds $300 to his UF Bookstore account by using a credit card belonging to an Oakland, California, resident. Later that day, Telfort purchases $150 in Sony PlayStation gift cards. Telfort also travels to the UF bookstore and purchases an iPad for $424.94. He also returns the iPad Mini and receives a refund of $478.

JULY 16 – Antonio Callaway successfully adds $1,970 to his UF Bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to a Carlsbad, California, resident. The resident disputed the charge as fraudulent and later told investigators he did not know anyone at UF.

JULY 17 – Callaway goes to the UF Bookstore and purchases a MacBook Pro, with a pair of Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones included at no additional charge. The total for the order was $2,022.44 – Callaway used the $1,970 in his UF Bookstore debit account along with $60 in cash to complete the purchase.

JULY 18 – Jordan Smith successfully adds $1,970 to his UF bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to a Fishers, Indiana, resident, who disputed the charge as fraudulent. Later that day, Smith purchases a MacBook Pro, and uses a coupon for Beat Solo 3 Wireless Headphones at no extra charge. The total for the order was $1,809.44

JULY 21 – Ventrell Miller adds $1,970 to his UF Bookstore Debit account using a credit card belonging to a Carlsbad, California, resident. Later that day, Miller goes to the UF Bookstore and purchases a Apple MacBook Pro with Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones included. The total for the order was $1,330.19.

James Houston adds $550 to his UF Bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to an Oakland, California, resident, who disputed the charge as fraudulent. Later that day, Houston goes to the UF Bookstore and purchases an Apple iPad. The total order was $424.94.

Richerd Desir-Jones added $1,970 to his UF Bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to the same person. Later that day, Desir-Jones goes to the UF Bookstore and purchases an Apple MacBook Pro, with a pair of Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones included at no extra cost, and a USB-C to USB adapter. The total for the order was $1,829.67.

JULY 23 – Jordan Scarlett adds $1,940 to his girl friend’s UF Bookstore debit account using a credit card belonging to a Carlsbad, California, resident. Scarlett saved the credit card information to his girl friend’s account. Another credit card, this one belonging to a Carlsbad, California, resident was also saved on his Scarlett’s girl friend’s UF Bookstore account.

JULY 24 – Smith attempts to add $1,000 to his UF Bookstore debit account, but he is unsuccessful.

JULY 26 – Scarlett and his girl friend purchase a MacBook Pro with Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones included at no extra cost with a coupon from the UF Bookstore using funds in the girl friend’s account. The total for the order is $1,809.44. The resident disputed the charge as fraudulent before the laptop could be shipped. The girl friend later returned the headphones to the UF Bookstore.

JULY 27 – Smith makes seven attempts to add money to his UF Bookstore debit account before successfully adding $800 from a credit card belonging to a resident from Tustin, California, who disputed the charge as fraudulent.

JULY 28 — Keivonnis Davis successfully adds $800 to his UF Bookstore debit account using a man’s credit card. Five minutes later, Davis uses the man’s information to add $800 more to his UF Bookstore debit account. Later that day, Davis purchases a MacBook Pro, with Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones and a BoomStream Mini Bluetooth Speaker included at no extra cost with a coupon. The total for the order was $1,330.20.

JULY 31 – Smith successfully adds $800 to his UF bookstore debit card using a credit card belonging to a man from Dinwiddie, Virginia, who disputed the charge as fraudulent and told investigators he never authorized anyone to use his card at UF. He also told investigators there were more fraudulent charges to his card in Gainesville.

AUG. 1 – Smith purchases a MacBook Air from the UF bookstore, and uses a coupon for a pair of Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones and a BoomStream Mini Bluetooth Speaker included for no extra charge. The total for the order was $1,117.20. Six minutes later, Smith purchases three pairs of Beats headphones from the UF bookstore for a total of $346.05.

AUG. 2 – Smith makes two payments to UF Transportation and Parking – for $940 and $510 – using a credit card belonging to a man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who disputed the charge as fraudulent and told investigators there were more fraudulent charges to his card in Gainesville.

AUG. 8 – The UF bookstore begins receiving chargebacks for accounts belonging to Callaway and Telfort. Telfort makes a $300 payment to the UF bookstore to partially settle his account. Callaway pays $2,000 in cash to settle his account. Davis pays just $20 of the $1,330.20 chargeback to partially settle his account. It’s unclear if Davis has settled his account.

AUG. 11 – Houston returns to the UF Bookstore and pays $424.94 to settle the chargebacks to his account. Desir-Jones returns to the Bookstore and pays $1,829.67 to settle chargebacks to his account.

AUG. 14 – Telfort makes $1,000 in payments to the UF bookstore to settle his account, but it did not settle it in full. In total, Telfort added a total of $1,450 using stolen credit cards to his UF bookstore debit account, while also using stolen credit cards to order a total of $89.48 at 352Delivery.

Miller goes back to the UF Bookstore and pays $1,330.19 to settle chargebacks to his account.

AUG. 15 – UPD responds to the UF Bookstore for possible fraud case initially involving Jordan Smith and Scarlett’s girl friend.

AUG. 17 – Smith is reported by the manager at The Woodlands apartment complex for using a man’s credit card to zero out his sublease account before beginning his new lease a week prior. The Gainesville Police Department intends to charge Smith separately for this offense. His attorney, Michael Barberette, was told by UPD that his client had been referred to as the ringleader of the group. Barberette told investigators that was very disappointing to hear. Barberette was told it was unlikely UPD would suggest misdemeanor charges.

AUG. 22 – Wells speaks to UPD investigators, saying he was not involved in any fraud and that he purchased an iPad for himself and one for his girlfriend. He also showed UPD investigators the texts from the UF Bookstore saying he was all set. Wells was asked to bring his iPad to UPD to verify the serial number, to which he agreed. He provided pictures of the iPad and his girlfriend’s information, but did not return with the iPad and did not return UPD phone calls.

AUG. 23 – Scarlett’s girl friend speaks to UPD investigators, telling officers she wasn’t aware the credit card funding her account was stolen. She told investigators that her boyfriend, Jordan Scarlett, told her the money on her account was from an agent in New York. Scarlett requested she accompany him to the UF Bookstore to purchase a laptop using her account. She was later contacted by the UF Bookstore that the credit card holder had disputed the charge and the laptop would not be shipped. She told investigators she then confronted Scarlett about the account.

AUG. 30 – Jordan Scarlett speaks to UPD investigators, claiming the money was coming from an agent and that Smith had added the funds to his girl friend’s debit UF Bookstore account. He said he used her computer when she was not present to add the funds and that he “made a mistake because he thought he could get away with it.”

SEPT. 13 – Telfort’s attorney, the Miami-based Peter Schoenthal, calls the UPD and attempts to negotiate a decrease in charges. He informs investigators Telfort will not come to UPD for an interview and will not provide a statement. UPD’s complaint recommends Telfort face 30 felony charges, including 13 counts of third-degree use of another person’s credit card without consent, 12 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, four counts of possession of a forged instrument and another count for fraudulent obtaining property valued under $20,000.

SEPT. 25 – Telfort’s attorney, Peter Schoenthal, files a written plea of “not guilty” on Telfort’s behalf.

What’s Next?

The fate of the nine players now rests in the hands of the State Attorney’s Office, which will likely need several weeks before reaching any conclusions. For several players, pre-trial diversion programs remain an option. It also remains a possibility that multiple players could see their charges reduced to misdemeanors.

A pre-trial diversion would allows to avoid a criminal record and jail time by completing tasks set forth by the State Attorney’s Office. These could include community service hours and full restitution. Scarlett and Callaway have already completed pre-trial programs for previous misdemeanor charges, and it’s likely they wouldn’t be prohibited from completing programs for felony charges.


  1. How stupid are these kids to actually think they would get away with this? Transferring stolen credit card funds to their personal student accounts. That’s the good thing about thieves they are usually stupid and get caught. All need to go as soon as this is official. Maybe we were wrong and Treon got his bad influence from Callaway and not the other way around.

      • Rick Gillmore. Stupid much? What is “generalize much” supposed to mean when he made specific comments about specific people? People who play football (hence the x,o), and who were caught very stupidly stealing money (hence the $). For grown, college aged men, to commit this kind of theft, sending money to their own bookstore accounts, and to think it isn’t easily going to catch up to them, is utterly stupid. Not just criminal, but really, really dumb.

  2. Nice work on the article… lots of leg work. That said I for one am no longer interested in hearing or reading about these guys. They are not likely to play this season and maybe never again for UF. Let’s use the space to talk about the guys who will play because when you think about it they are doing a great job keeping it together and so are the coaches. They lost more more than 10% of their scholarship players right before the season stats!

    • Vulcan. You really think sending these kids to prison is the right thing to do? How is that going to help them understand the difference between right and wrong? Or make them honest and decent human beings? Sending kids to prison will only turn them into smarter criminals. Seriously. The ones with first offenses need to go through the program mentioned in the article and work their way back onto the team if McElwain feels they deserve to remain on the team. I leave that decision to him and he UF administration. There decision is my view. Callaway is an entirely different matter for me. He needs to go and go now. His chances to do the right thing have been offered and he has clearly chosen another path that is wrong thing. Take it elsewhere now for Callaway.

      • Rick Gillmore, lets make one thing clear- they are not kids. They are adults, grown men. The age of adulthood has been 18 since like forever, but now apparently people like you think they are kids until around age 30. I don’t disagree that it might be best for them to receive punishment other than jail time, but don’t call them kids. We have people their age as soldiers in Afghanistan, people their age working full time jobs, and people their age supporting families.

  3. Am I the only one wondering how stupid the management is at this bookstore? How hard is it to check ID and verify credit card ownership? Back in the day I worked for a restaurant in a high crime area where we easily recognized and rejected potential credit card scammers. Regardless of which industry it is, I can guarantee there are obvious signs. That bookstore needs to completely overhaul their credit card screening process.

    That said, agree with most others on this thread. These kids knew they were committing crimes. Their punishment should start with being kicked off the team, then kicked out of school, and it should definitely not end there. This is AT LEAST the 3rd strike for Callaway – that dude is a thug plain and simple.

    • The way I read it…the players were using the stolen credit cards to transfer funds to their Bookstore accounts, then using those debit cards (which were in their own names) to complete the actual purchase of items. I would assume those were online transfers from the stolen cards to their debit cards and therefore not ever being presented in person to a Bookstore employee. I think this was all out of their line of sight.

      However, I work at a bank and I am VERY surprised that red flags and alarm bells weren’t going crazy in the fraud monitoring area of whatever company is managing the UF Bookstore debit card program. This all started in late June with FIVE attempts in the same day to transfer money from a stolen credit card to Telfort’s debit card. The first four were declined and the victim disputed the transfer, therefore this was absolutely on the radar. Then he made more fraudulent transfers in the next week, and again in the next week. None of that takes any blame away from the players…I say throw the book at them. But I also think UF should reconsider who’s managing their payment card accounts because we all know they’re making a lot of profit off the program, and clearly not monitoring some very basic fraud events.

      • Sorry if this is too worded but I want to share this. Being a victim of identity theft I can tell you for a fact that most banks and credit card companies don’t sweat it because they have insurance to cover the losses. It’s a big hassle for the victim because the burden of proof falls on the victim. You have to sign an affidavit stating you didn’t make the charges, didn’t know or authorize anyone to use the CC. Then you have to report it to the police in order to avoid being responsible for the fraudulent charges. Within three days of someone obtaining my ID I was hit with over $18,000 in fraudulent charges to a number of my credit cards. Unauthorized users were added to the accounts, my billing address, phone number and email address were all changed. Attempts to open addition CC’s were made with pending purchases of over $2000. The only way I found out about this was receiving a call from two CC companies questioning unusual activity not consistent with my normal purchasing habits/history. Basically having zero balances on my cards until this event occurred. I started contacting all known CC’s to check on the balances and activities to any further fraud. One card from a major CC company had 26 transactions for $5600, yet i was the one informing them of the fraudulent activity. I had to freeze my credit/consumer info for seven years to protect my ID and credit.

      • I was wondering that myself. Why did the bookstore wait until they saw a pattern of disputed charges before they got the police involved? Using someone else’s credit card without permission is pretty clearly fraud — why not call the cops immediately? It may not be good customer service, but I would suggest that criminals are not the type of customers they want

    • Technically it’s not a crime to use someone else’s credit card at a store – the clerk has no idea if the person was given permission to use it, if the name on the card is a relative, friend, etc. It’s not their job to stop people from committing fraud, I would hesitate to put any blame on management or employees. If it were, they would deserve a pay raise. However, like all of you I think most people are interested in why it took 5-6 weeks for UPD to be alerted to multiple fraud charges.

  4. If the charges are correct (and they likely are) the charges should not be reduced to misdemeanors. They deserve a felony conviction on their record for using stolen credit cards. Every one of them should be kicked out of school. As others have noted, use the scholarships to recruit players for the 2018 class.

    • Carl. There are plenty of successful people in the country that have led successful lives after doing something criminal in nature as a kid, and that is what most of these players are, kids still. Kicking any out should depend on the individual player and who they are vs. what they did this one time. McElwain has spent a lot of time with each one of them. So have their parents. I am sure McElwain will talk at length with the UF administration and the parents of each of these players before making a dismissal decision on any one of them. The only one I would dismiss now is Callaway. But if any stay, I hope they will learn from this and become responsible adults and players as a result. I have no interest in any of them suffering forever for this, and they could, even Callaway. I fully believe Callaway should leave on his own and try to rebuild his football future with an agent who can get him professional help and help him finance his working out on his own before next year’s NFL draft and undrafted free agency opportunities. And, likely, the undrafted FA route is the only route now for Callaway when and if he gets the help he needs, leads a clean life before then, and passes all the personal profile tests the NFL will give him.

        • I agree. Myself being a victim of identity theft I have no compassion for these individuals. They knew perfectly well they were committing fraud. Obviously they were all in on it and shared the same source in obtaining stolen CC’s. Most of them duplicated the same types transfer amounts and purchases. If they are to get any breaks they need to reveal those sources.

      • There are absolutely plenty of people in the country who have done something criminal when young and then turned their lives around AFTER SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES. Nobody is saying give them life sentences, but there needs to be punishment. Every one of the scenarios described above involved multiple steps in the crime…obtaining the stolen cards, transferring money from them, using the stolen funds for personal purchases…and for some of the players they repeated this several times. This isn’t your classic “he got drunk and lost his temper and started a fight” type of arrest. Those are heat of the moment things that could be chalked up to a single bad decision. These were all premeditated and all had plenty of chances to back out when their conscience started screaming at them. But none of them did.

  5. This is disturbing to me because my son was a high school honor student taking advanced classes while playing two sports and didn’t get accepted at UF. Sports are ruining these universities and this is coming from a division 1 two sport athlete. Terrible!

  6. As a former prosecutor there are two things that would concern me in determining how to dispose of the cases. First, the pattern engaged in by the players reflects a scheme to defraud and not just an isolated incident. Usually pre-trial diversion of criminal charges is for defendants without a prior record involved in an isolated incident. Here there is a pattern, 62 felonies, that will make it difficult to justify pre-trial diversion. Secondly, several of the players seemed to have come forward with cash payments to settle their accounts. This will surely be of interest to the NCAA as to the source of those funds.
    As of now all the charges seem to relate directly to the acts of fraud. Based upon the article it appears there were several false statements made to the investigators during the course of the investigation which could lead to further charges. Lastly, let’s hope Scarlett’s statements about a New York agent are fabricated as they could open another can of worms.
    Whether or not any of the players remain in school and on scholarship needs to be determined by the school’s administration. Having attended schools that operate under an honor code the decision would be academic. Immediate dismissal. Anything less is both unfair and insulting to the students and parents paying their way thru hard work or student loans without resorting to criminal conduct to obtain what in essence were luxury merchandise.

    • Mark, thanks for your insight and thoughtful reply. I don’t believe that I could agree more with what you said. I, too, feel that when / if they are found guilty of credit card theft, their scholarships should be revoked, they should be kicked off the team and out of the University of Florida.

      Kids or otherwise, they all should know that taking something that doesn’t belong to you is wrong. We’ve all learned those lessons since at least kindergarten. Knowingly using funds from someone else’s credit card is theft, plain and simple.

      Hopefully, other colleges will take their choices into account and not offer them positions on any other team. If that happens, then the cycle will continue to perpetuate. “Hey, even though I lost my scholarship to UF, I can go play for a DII or DIII team, become a big fish in a small pond and then possibly get drafted into the NFL.” No real lesson learned there. If they lose their dream because of doing something stupid and illegal; then they have only themselves to blame.

      Taking a knee during the anthem is small potatoes in comparison to what these young felons have done. I could not in good conscience support them or cheer for them as Gators and I would be very disappointed if Coach McElwain allowed them to rejoin the team.

    • Yes I believe the legal aspect comes first, and that will determine whether administration action is taken or not. The 9 students are still in school because they’re still allegations at this point – that would change if the State Attorney’s office presses charges.

  7. Let’s make An Example Out of These Guys!

    What a brilliant plot. These guys are genius beyond their talent on the the field of play! As misdirected as there behavior is alleged, we as the Gator Nation have a responsibility to fulfill our obligation and living room promises to make better men out of these kids while in Gainesville. Gator Nation, let’s not shirk our responsibility.

    Although most values like honesty are taught at home, need I remind you that these guys are still kids. When faced with the temptation and opportunity to make a wrong decision (away from home for the first time), they swallowed the bait; hook, line and sinker.

    The remedy is not feeding them to another NCAA program or worst yet, an NFL agent, that will turn a deaf ear on systemic value-based behavioral issues. Nor is the penal system the answer. I suggest the Florida Gator Football Advisement Center take these young men under their wing, teaching them the woes of their ways and provide some mentors. As insurance companies and merchant services provider’s consider writing off $17K as chump change, I strongly suggest that non financial restitution be made to the individuals violated in this scheme.

    Can you imagine what a statement this would make for these individual’s success stories and the program?

    Do not fool yourself, this not a UF problem, it’s a national challenge. We will face this again in some scenario. The Gators have an opportunity to lead the way in student-athlete development. Bring Keith Carodine out of retirement, reach out to Tony Dungy, Kevin Carter, Tim Tebow Keith Tribble and the HBC. Gator nation, Who wants to make lemonade out of lemons? Next Man Up! Who’s in?

  8. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet, but if any attorneys care to reply, would Federal RICO charges be possible? It seems to me the nine players shared the stolen information and therefore conspired to commit felonies. Since some of the credit card information was from outside the state of Florida, could Interstate Commerce Clause come into play? I’m really curious as to the possible extent of charges the players face.

  9. Between the FEDS’ BUSTING NCAA BASKETBALL PROGRAMS Tuesday, and this news, WOW! It really takes the whole ”amateurism” out of the ”college experience”. The point I’d like to make that few have made, is ”Jordan Scarlett, told her the money on her account was from an agent in New York.” ~Gatorsports.com
    HELLO! That is not only screwing over his girlfriend, but screwing over the UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA! Agents paying eligible players are ILLEGAL! Hello U.F.! Get someone on that a.s.a.p.!
    Or else the NCAA will be snooping around Hogtown… again! And this time it will be for a R.B. that never amounted to much! Not even a C4, or Rhett quality R.B., and he’s throwing the word, ”agent and payments around”, WOW! Lord have mercy on the N.C.A.A.!

  10. Not sure I am reading this right but at one point in the article Scarlett’s girfriend states the money added to her account was through an agent. If that is so the claim of stolen credit cards may very well be a smoke screen to keep the agents out of harms way while throwing the kids under the bus.
    Either way wheter stolen or agent money I see them as gone. Either through the criminal act of using a stolen credit card or disqualifying themselves by receiving money from an agent.

  11. Excellent article on the timeline, sad to read it but this is the reality. Several if not all of these young men will not be back, imo. Doubt the State pursues too much as far as severity but we’ll see. It’s unfortunate when a person’s conscience doesn’t define right/wrong and the state attorney/police have to define it. Fraud is fraud. I’d be really ticked off if it was my credit card being used. Coach Mac has a lot to handle with these young men, their criminal activity/mistakes & the Team.

    • That was my thought also. That and the fact that the location of the owner of the used credit cards seemed to be in the same area Oakland, California is a bit curious. At the same time Scarlett’s girlfriend says he told her it was froma New York agent. This thing gets more complicated all the time.
      If the people siphoning money to the players were agents shouldn’t they be found and prosecuted?

  12. Jadavious is correct. They are nothing but ciminal thugs. Cut them loose entirely, football and UF. No character at all. Prison is where they belong- all of them. Then they can wash dishes or work at the carwash. Shame on UF for not recruiting athletes with some level of character.

  13. I wondered why $1970, too. Callaway needs to be gone NOW. If Smith is the ringleader, gbye to him. If Telfort has 30 counts, gbye. If Scarlett mentioned an agent, see ya. As for the others, I may be able to see them as Gators NEXT year, IF they show true remorse and repentance. Hard to cheer foR them, as I have had my credit card info used fraudulently several times over the years, and become angered when told that usually the perpetrator gets away with their theft. And that’s what these guys are if guilty, THIEVES.

  14. We probabaly can’t have the structure in our football program equal to the service academies or some of the private school programs but we should strive towards that objective. Sounds like we were asleep at the wheel. Go Gators!

  15. First off, nice work Graham on obtaining all these details. Very well put together.

    Second off, can we stop saying these guys are “just kids.” I’m sorry, but when i was “just a kid” at age 19, I knew it was wrong to steal hard earned money from other people just as well as I know it now, just as well as I knew it when i was 10 years old. It’s not like these kids were told that they were working some loophole to put money into their accounts. They were stealing money that other people had worked hard to earn. I’ve never taken a class on criminal law in my life, so whether these stick as felonies or are reduced to misdemeanors, pre-trial diversion, whatever, I don’t know, not my job to say. But as a proud alumnus of this university, I think the words University of Florida on the jersey means more than just the team they play for. I don’t want people who knowingly and willingly steal money from other people to represent my university. I can handle “kids” smoking a joint, shooting a BB gun (as long as no intent to harm anyone else), etc, with appropriate punishment after the incidents. Those are just things that “stupid kids” do and when I was in Gainesville, I did several things that would be classified as “stupid”. But I have no compassion for anyone who steals anyone else’s hard earned money and I don’t want them representing, or even attending, my university. They don’t deserve a “warning” or to be able to say they’re sorry, and then just have everything handed back to them. Let coaches like Jimbo Fisher and fans like Mike Winter cheer for them. Not welcome in Gainesville in my book.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I would like to point out the seven Gators were suspended Aug. 13, and UPD apparently wasn’t alerted until Aug. 15. One of the two people to alert UPD to the possible fraud told investigators he reached out to UAA compliance (the athletics program essentially) before calling authorities. So it seems McElwain and the program suspended 7 players before it was an active investigation — say what you want about him, but hard to say he didn’t take immediate action

    • I’m really irritated that I can no longer watch or read about football and have it just be about football. Please elaborate on why it matters what the skin color of the offenders is. Would you be less irritated if Johnny Townsend and Taven Bryan had been on the list too? And honestly, based purely on statistics, if you pick 9 players at random from this team, how many would be black? 8? I’m far more irritated that members of a team that represents my alma mater are worthless piles of crap who think it’s ok to steal hard earned money from people. I never once considered what color skin any of them had, and I would hope reasonable people would do the same, because it simply does not matter.

    • Even if they do check IDs, they can’t stop someone from using someone else’s credit card information. Especially if said person can provide the CC number, billing address, etc. Which the affidavits say they had – many players didn’t possess the physical credit card, only all the pertinent information.

    • They probably added the money to their student accounts online so no cashier involved with that step. I know that at Ga Tech you can just go online and deposit money into a student account using a credit card, which is meant to be used by parents that want to give their kids money to buy books. When you use your student account funds at the school bookstore the cashier doesn’t have any information on where the funds came from, they just see that you have money available in your account.

  16. I am a die hard fan and just want to say to thanks to all the honest hard working teammates still bringing us wins your honest hard work is not unnoticed and also thank u for BEING HONEST players and not stealing from honest people GO GATORS CHOMP CHOMP

  17. I say cut all of them loose. We have a great 2018 class coming in and we are okay for this year. A statement needs to be made so that others don’t repeat this stupidity. I also wonder if Mas’s early recruiting wasn’t as careful as he would be now as far as character. I am originally from Miami and it bothers me that so many of these kids are from south Florida. We used to not recruit that much from there as most of our great athletes were from central Fl, Tampa area and Jax. Maybe that is part of the problem.

  18. Mr. Hall, very good work. painful to read, as I really just want to read about football, but what can I say. As to the comments by Jordan Scarlett and/or his girlfriend, in light of the college basketball scandal exposed yesterday, really has me wondering if there is more to come here. I acknowledge that none of these apparently illegal transactions involve agents…maybe I’m just wrong. I hope so.

  19. Hmm. Whatever happened to accountability in this country? Sure, we were all young once and did stupid things, but this? These guys knew exactly what they were doing, repeatedly committing felony credit card fraud; it begs the question as to any other felonies they have perpetrated about which we are unaware, both before and during their attendance at the University of Florida.

    I also wonder if they went to the same clerk or clerks for these fraudulent transactions. Has anyone investigated the possibility of any collusion with bookstore employees?

    Finally, how did these guys get into the university possessing so little integrity, judgment and sense? That’s a perennial question with college athletes, but character is just as important, if not more important than any other attribute an athlete possesses.

    As to the gentleman’s comment that all these fraudulent charges are covered by the issuing credit card company obviates the need to press charges. Really? So if I break into your house and steal your jewelry and TV sets, no crime occurred because you have insurance? Oh, by the way, you also have an insurance deductible, so you incur at least some of the loss. Same with the credit card companies, they also have deductibles on their insurance policies, thus realizing some of the loss themselves. Stealing is still thievery, no matter who pays!

    On the positive side, if an individual is not held accountable for their actions and suffer the consequences, the opportunity to learn is lost. This was a concerted and continuous effort to steal from someone else to benefit themselves, thus violating society’s parameters of acceptable conduct; behavior that must have repercussions for their own good and that of society. If not, it is highly likely more crimes, perhaps more serious crimes, will be committed by these individuals in the future as they will not have learned that their activity went beyond the realm of acceptable behavior.

  20. As a Gator grad I am proud of our integrity. Many other programs would have covered up thesr incidents. FSU covered up Winston’s rape charges and Georgia allowed several basketball players to play even though they were found guilty of gang rape. Now a dozen schools have been charged for basketball vioations after Federal undercover investigators were offered money. And yet none of the coaches have been fired. We have integrity and they do not.