Colts and Legal Issues and Pro Sports and Gambling and Law and Sports Business

Former Colts player charged in $1M theft case

February 14, 2011

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter, whose NFL career was derailed by a gambling addiction, was charged Monday with stealing more than $1 million from a 68-year-old woman in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

Schlichter has offered to cooperate with an ongoing police investigation into the sale of Ohio State University football tickets and 2011 Super Bowl tickets, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, who didn't provide details on how the theft charge was related to the ticket investigation.

Schlichter, 50, was charged in Franklin County Municipal Court with one count of theft alleging he stole more than $1 million from the woman in suburban Dublin by deceiving her about the reason he took the money.

He took the money in cash, checks and credit card charges, according to the charge, which could also involve higher penalties because the woman is considered elderly under Ohio law. More charges are also likely against Schlichter, probably in federal court, his attorney said Monday without offering details.

Schlichter told reporters he had no comment as he surrendered at the county prosecutor's office Monday morning. He's due in court Tuesday.

Schlichter has been forthcoming with investigators and intends to cooperate, said his attorney, Sam Shamansky. Schlichter will likely remain in jail because he is on probation for similar offenses in Indiana, O'Brien said.

Schlichter, who played for Ohio State between 1978 and 1981, spent 10 years in prison, much of it in Indiana, for gambling-related crimes. A first-round pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1982, he played for Baltimore, Indianapolis and Buffalo Bills, and the Detroit and Cincinnati Arena League teams. The NFL has suspended him for life.

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