On Thursday afternoon, news broke shortly after 3:30 PM that a Mississippi man has been indicted by the FBI for attempting to extort University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich.
Tom Jurich received an email on April 23, from Thomas E. Ray III acting under the alias of ‘Melinda White’ and purporting to have information that the men’s basketball team was involved in a point scheme. Jurich immediately contacted the NCAA and the Kentucky Attorney General who then notified the FBI.
The FBI completed a thorough review of the allegations. That investigation resulted in the indictment and arrest of Thomas E. Ray III of Jackson, Mississippi. The indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office charges Ray with extortion and threatening injury to the reputation of University of Louisville Athletic Association.
The FBI and the Kentucky Attorney General’s quick response and thorough investigation led to the arrest Thomas E. Ray III and hopefully sends a strong message to others who attempt to extort money from athletic programs around the country.
The accused extortionist, Thomas E. Ray III from Jackson, Mississippi, was convicted of the same crime in 2005 when he attempted to extort millions of dollars from multinational consumer electronics corporation, Best Buy.
“Within minutes of reading the communication in April, I reached out to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway as well as the NCAA,” Jurich says in an official statement from the University.
“The matter was shortly thereafter turned over to the FBI and has been a federal investigation and prosecution since that time. We were confident that there was no truth to the accusations made in the communication. We will have no further comment at this time on this ongoing federal prosecution.”
Regardless of what is being said, this has absolutely nothing to do with junior forward Chane Behanan’s recent indefinite suspension or any other member of the Louisville basketball program.