LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Jackson, Mississippi man was charged by a federal grand jury meeting in Louisville with extortion, by means of a threatening communication, according to a news release Thursday.
The federal indictment was unsealed Thursday, following the arrest of Thomas E. Ray, age 35, in Mississippi, by the U.S. Marshal Service.
According to the indictment, Ray, using the alias “Melinda White,” knowingly sent an email communication from his home in Jackson, MS, to the commonwealth of Kentucky, on April 23, 2013 with the intent to extort $3.5 million from an association and corporation, by threatening to injure the reputation of the University of Louisville Athletic Association.
In a statement to WHAS11 News, Tom Jurich said, "Within minutes of reading the communication in April, I reached out to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway as well as the NCAA. The matter was shortly thereafter turned over to the FBI and has been a federal investigation and prosecution since that time. We were confident that there was no truth to the accusations made in the communication. We will have no further comment at this time on this ongoing federal prosecution."
If convicted, Ray faces no more than two years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a one year period of supervised release.
His initial appearance on the charge was held today in Jackson, Miss.
Ray posted a $10,000 bond and was ordered to appear in Louisville District Court on November 7, 2013.