Man arrested after attempting to extort $3.5 million from Louisville athletics
A Mississippi man was arrested Thursday and charged with trying to blackmail the University of Louisville Athletic Association out of $3.5 million in exchange for keeping quiet about a basketball point-shaving scandal.
Thomas E. Ray, 35, of Jackson, Miss. was arrested in Mississippi by U.S. Marshals, according to reports.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said that investigators do not believe any point-shaving scheme at U of L basketball existed.
Using the alias “Melinda White,” Ray allegedly sent an email from his home April 23 threatening Louisville’s athletics reputation unless he was paid $3.5 million. Conway said authorities traced the email seeking the money to Ray’s Yahoo! account and IP address.
Conway described the amateurish attempt “as one notch above a Nigerian cousin” scam email.
This isn’t Ray’s first run in with the law over attempted email extortion. In 2005, he was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison in a similar extortion case involving Best Buy.
Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich said he contacted Conway and the NCAA within minutes of reading the email in April.
“We were confident that there was no truth to the accusations made in the communication,” Jurich said.