Nine suspended Florida Gators, including star junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway, are facing felony charges for their roles in a credit card fraud scam.
According to sworn affidavit complaints from university police, the group of Gators football players totaled 62 potential third degree felonies stemming from alleged credit card fraud.
Callaway, junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, sophomore defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones, freshmen linebackers James Houston, freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller, junior running back Jordan Scarlett, freshman defensive end Jordan Smith, freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, and freshman wide receiver Rick Wells are all involved in the case.
Callaway and Scarlett, perhaps the two most high-profile players involved, each used stolen credit cards to put money on university accounts, which was then used to buy items from the school bookstore, including MacBook Pro laptops and Beats headphones. From the Orlando Sentinel:
The players are accused of using multiple credit cards from multiple victims. Callaway transferred $1,970 from a stolen credit card to his UF account and Scarlett transferred $1,940 to his UF account, making one fraudulent transaction apiece, according to Cervone.
The Orlando Sentinel obtained UF police incident reports for Callaway and Scarlett that indicate they both used a credit card belonging to James Sturiale, of Carlsbad, Calif., to transfer funds to their UF accounts. They then ordered MacBook Pro laptops and Beats Solo 3 headphones using the stolen funds.
Telfort is facing the largest number of charges, at a pretty eye-popping 30. SEC Country has more:
True freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort could be facing 30 third-degree felony charges: 13 counts of use of another person’s credit card without consent, 12 counts of fraud-illegal use of credit card, four counts of possession of a forged instrument and one count for fraud/obtaining property for under $20,000.
Jim McElwain commented on the case, acknowledging that the felony charges definitely changes the situation, but that he had not yet been fully briefed on the details.
The news surfaced during Florida coach Jim McElwain’s weekly press conference on Monday. McElwain said he was not aware that the sworn complaints had been filed but said “I’m sure we will be when I get back.”
“You’re asking me something I don’t even know about,” McElwain said.
When asked if the felony charges change anything, he said “Darn right.”
Alachua State Attorney Bill Cervone says that it is unlikely that the players will be arrested, and a number of them could wipe the charges from their records by entering a diversion program. However, it seems fairly likely that these players’ football futures at Florida are in serious jeopardy.