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Miss. Man Convicted of Trying to Extort $3.5M from University of Louisville’s Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- A Mississippi man has been convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from the University of Louisville athletic’s department. 

The Courier Journal reported, Thomas Ray, 36, of Jackson, was accused of sending an email to the Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, threatening to publicly accuse one of the university’s basketball players of point shaving. Ray said he would keep quiet for $3.5 million from U of L.

After a two-day trial in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ray was convicted of a single count of extortion for sending a threatening email from his home in Jackson under the pseudonym “Melinda White,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

This isn’t Ray’s first time to pull a stunt like this, he was previously convicted in 2005 on two counts of extortion and sentenced to 18 months in prison in a similar case involving Best Buy. In that case, prosecutors said he tried to extort $2.5 million from the consumer electronics chain by threatening to expose purported flaws in the company’s computer system.

Ray was convicted on a single count of extortion and faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced in this case on Nov. 3. 

University of Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said, “We are pleased with the decision of the jury. We took the matter very seriously and actively participated with the FBI and the US Attorney’s office during the course of the investigation. We were confident that the accusations made in the communications were not truthful.”
 

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