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Seven suspended Florida Gators accept pre-trial intervention in credit card fraud cases

Their futures seem unlikely to include convictions in these cases — and their paths back to the field are very slightly clearer.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Seven suspended Florida Gators players with felony charges recommended against them for their parts in credit card fraud this summer have been offered pre-trial intervention, per Alachua County court records and multiple reports.

The most important report is the one on Florida’s official website, which lists the players accepting pre-trial intervention — juniors Antonio Callaway, Keivonnis Davis, and Jordan Scarlett, redshirt sophomore Richerd Desir-Jones, redshirt freshman Rick Wells, and freshmen James Houston IV and Ventrell Miller — and includes this quote from Florida coach Jim McElwain.

"We've been made aware of some updates in the legal process and there are still steps to go that include the University student conduct code,'' Gators head coach Jim McElwain said.

Gainesville Police Department and University Police Department sworn complaints filed in late September named nine Gators and recommended dozens of felony fraud charges against them. But none of those seven players who have accepted pre-trial intervention would have faced more than a few charges, thanks to their allegedly relatively limited crimes: None of these seven players were alleged to have made more than two transfers of funds from credit card numbers to their personal University of Florida Bookstore accounts, and all seven allegedly only made a single purchase each with fraudulently obtained funds.

Pre-trial intervention is not unusual for first-time and non-violent offenders — with good representation, anyway — and can be compared to deferred prosecution, as both paths allow those accused of crimes to pay lesser penalties and avoid convictions and incarceration while satisfying other conditions asked for by prosecutors and set by courts. (There are subtle differences between how these cases are adjudicated; the law is complex.) In this case, pre-trial intervention could very possibly result in the dismissal of the charges those players face.

Those seven players with agreements for pre-trial intervention on file will now get judicial dispositions in the coming weeks — for example, Scarlett’s is part of the docket for November 6, Callaway’s on the schedule for November 14 — and could conceivably return to the field if the dispositions come down in their favor.

McElwain’s quote, though, hints that a return won’t be quite so simple.

Freshmen Jordan Smith and Kadeem Telfort, meanwhile, could still face double-digit felony charges, thanks to their multiple uses of (and failed attempts to use) fraudulently obtained credit card numbers, and are unlikely to receive the same or similar pre-trial intervention based on the sheer number of counts recommended against them.