UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson confirmed to UGASports.com Tuesday morning that 11 tuition checks were allegedly withdrawn from the UGA Athletic Association account before the players tried to to re-cash the paper checks at local convenience stores. According to police reports, each check was valued at $71.50 for total losses of $786.50.
According to Williamson, the investigation did not take long to complete and that Matthews, Taylor and DeLoach allegedly deposited the checks via a mobile banking app before deciding to try and cash the actual paper check. Three of the players (Matthews, Taylor and DeLoach) are accused of double-cashing their stipend checks while LeMay is charged with depositing his roommates’ stipend check. Now before you ask what is Theft By Deception, we were able to speak with Attorney Reginald Greene from GreeneLegalGroup.com to get a better understanding of this crime.
He stated, “There are a number of crimes in the state of Georgia that fall under the definition of theft by deception. Generally speaking, theft by deception occurs when a person uses deceit to acquire property, money or services from another individual, group of individuals or a business. Examples include cases where an individual deceived another party to obtain a service, or deceives another party to sell a service they have no intention of
fulfilling to another party.
In instances of service theft using deception, unlawfully obtaining or selling a service, or presenting false identification on a contract or intentionally writing a bad check knowing that sufficient funds do not exist to cover the amount of the check all qualify as deceptive practices under the law. In the state of Georgia any crime related to theft, whether through the use of deceit or any other methods, are misdemeanors if the value of the service or property involved has a value of less than $500. These types of crimes are punishable by up to 12 months in a county jail. More severe offenses, involving monetary values over $500 are considered felony crimes with a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum sentence of ten years in a state prison. In instances where a theft of deception occurred with a victim older than age 65, five years is the minimum enacted penalty.”
Now that he has explained that I have three questions: “Where are the parents?” “How were they able to easily get their hands on someone else’s tuition checks?” “When will Coach Richt be fired?” When any of you reading this get the answers to any of my questions please let me know. I am utterly sick of these situations happening and for these players to be setup to fail and get caught! You cannot tell me that the coaching staff does not understand the financial hardship that these guys are going through during and after the college football season. You cannot tell me that this cannot be stopped. Someone has to figure out a way to help these student-athletes manage their financial aid better and inform their families that this is for them to survive.
I saw on twitter that many alumni from University of Georgia made fun of these four young men. I know that alumni and boosters cannot give these players money or gifts, but help to find out why these players are consistently getting into trouble. I feel that college athletes will never be paid, and that the NCAA has to figure out how to educate these young men on how to handle thousands of dollars that they get from aid money. Why make fun of a situation that could have been prevented if someone took the proper measures in helping these young men understand the results of their actions? This is SAD and it must be stopped! Share your thoughts below!