Mississippi man enters not guilty plea in UofL extortion case

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 7:29 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky – A Mississippi man claimed a UofL men’s basketball player took part in a point shaving scheme and Thursday, he faced a federal judge in Louisville, charged with extortion.

According to the indictment, 35-year-old Thomas Ray tried to get the UofL Athletics Association to give him money in exchange for silence, but the school went to investigators instead.

Ray had nothing to say as he left the courthouse Thursday afternoon. His attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Ray is accused of sending an email from his home in Jackson, Mississippi to University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich and others at UofL on April 23rd, 2013.

Ray allegedly used the name Melinda White and claimed he had evidence that a UofL player was involved in the point-shaving scheme. Court papers say he demanded $3.5 million to keep quiet.

Earlier in the day, Ray and his father were at the courthouse for the unsealing of the indictment. Ray’s father would only say that his son was innocent and that it was some sort of identity theft.

A trial date was set for January 14th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

If convicted, Ray could face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

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