Sworn complaints which should lead to felony fraud charges against nine suspended Florida Gators players were filed on Monday, Alachua County court records show.
Freshman defensive end Jordan Smith, reportedly at the center of multiple probes by law enforcement, could face five felony charges — four for fraudulently using a person’s identification without consent, and one for fraudulently obtaining property valued at under $20,000.
Freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, under the surname Josephtelfort, is the subject of complaints recommending a staggering 30 felony charges, divided between two separate cases. In one, he could face six counts of fraudulently using a person’s identification without consent, and one for fraudulently obtaining property valued at under $20,000; in the other, he could face seven counts of fraudulently using a person’s identification without consent, 12 counts of fraudulent use of credit cards, and four counts of “uttering a forged instrument” — loosely, presenting a forged document.
The other seven Gators likely to face charges — junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway, junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones, freshman linebacker James Houston, freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller, junior running back Jordan Scarlett, and redshirt freshman wide receiver Rick Wells — are all the subjects of sworn complaints regarding one count of using identification without consent, and one count of fradulently obtaining property valued at under $20,000.
All the crimes at hand are third-degree felonies, and could carry punishments of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 under state law.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that State Attorney Bill Cervone, the state’s prosecutor for Alachua County, confirmed that charges are pending against all nine Gators — but does not anticipate any will be arrested.
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.
Telfort, however, used multiple credit cards to make multiple transactions, including sending money to his UF account, purchasing items and ordering food using stolen cards. As a result, he faces roughly 30 third-degree felony charges, Cervone said.
None of the players are expected to be arrested and up to seven could qualify for a diversion program that would expunge charges from their records. People in diversion programs typically have to pay back any stolen funds, do some form of community service and avoid other criminal issues in order to eventually have charges removed from their records.
It is not clear which seven players would qualify for this diversion program, but the state of Florida generally allows first-time offenders to plead charges down to what is called pre-trial diversion. Of the nine players named in complaints, Callaway, Miller, and Scarlett — all of whom have been cited for marijuana possession in their time as Gators — are the only ones with known prior run-ins with the law as adults.
The Sentinel — in a report bylined by Edgar Thompson and Iliana Limon Romero — also reports that University of Florida Police Department incident reports for Callaway and Scarlett allege they purchased laptops and headphones with credit cards belonging to California men.
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.
The UFPD report stated Scarlett was also accused of transferring money from a credit card belonging to Gabriel Robinson, also of Carlsbad, Calif., to another student's account for his future.
Sworn complaints against all nine Gators are listed as filed on September 25 — this Monday — in Alachua County court records, but the records do not yet contain scans of the sworn complaints as filed. The cases are designated as being in the “initial” phase in court records. Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reports that documents related to the case are currently being redacted at the Alachua County Courthouse, suggesting they will be released soon.
Florida coach Jim McElwain confirmed in his Monday press conference that he was aware of potential felony charges for some of the suspended players them, and suggested that the charges could change their status with the team.
Do potential felony charges change things with Jim McElwain and suspended #Gators? "“Darn right” he says— Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) September 25, 2017