Ex-Ohio State, Colts player pleads guilty in scam

Associated Press
September 15, 2011
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Former Ohio State and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter pleaded guilty Thursday to state theft charges linked to a sports ticket-fraud scheme and apologized to a woman who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the plot.

In a deal worked out with state and federal prosecutors, Schlichter pleaded guilty to 12 theft counts and one corrupt activity count and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He also was ordered to pay more than $800,000 in restitution, although a prosecutor conceded victims were likely to never see the money.

Schlichter will appear Friday in federal court, where he faces related charges of bank and wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Schlichter has indicated he'll plead guilty to those charges, though no date for accepting the plea has been set.

Schlichter, 51, whose professional football career was derailed by a gambling addiction, apologized Thursday to the victims of the scheme, in which he charged hundreds of thousands of dollars for sports tickets he never delivered.

"I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused you and all the other victims that are involved in this," he said, his remarks at times aimed at Anita Barney of suburban Dublin, who sat in the courtroom directly behind him.

"My hope is that I can get myself together, rehab myself, do the right thing, get healthy so that I can make amends to everybody that I've hurt and harmed in any way," he said. "It was never my intention setting out to hurt people."

Schlichter said he was ashamed of his addiction.

Barney, the 69-year-old widow of a former Wendy's Co. president, has been ruined by Schlichter, said her attorney, William Loveland. Her homes are being foreclosed and her only income is from Social Security, he said.

"He's proven more than once he's a predator," Loveland said. "He's shown no remorse for the situation he created."

Judge Timothy Horton told Schlichter he was disappointed in his actions.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said afterward he was pleased with the convictions, while noting that many other victims remained in the wings after deciding not to file charges.

Schlichter's attorney, Scott Weisman, said it's taken his client hitting "rock bottom" to realize he has to change his ways. He said that one day the money will be paid back.

"Art is remorseful. Art wants to turn his life around. He wants to give back," Weisman said.

Federal investigators say Schlichter used the money he took promising Ohio State and NFL tickets and spent it on personal expenses, gambling and to repay older debts.

Schlichter played at Ohio State between 1978 and 1981 and was the No. 4 pick in the 1982 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts, who moved to Indianapolis two years later. The Colts released him in 1985, mostly due to his gambling problems. The NFL eventually suspended him for life.

The ex-quarterback has spent much of the last 25 years in prison due to numerous financial-related felonies related to his gambling addiction.


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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now