Felony fraud charges recommended for 9 Florida players

Dr. Saturday
Wide receiver <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/255010/" data-ylk="slk:Antonio Callaway">Antonio Callaway</a> is among nine Florida players potentially facing felony charges. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Wide receiver Antonio Callaway is among nine Florida players potentially facing felony charges. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Felony charges have been recommended for the nine Florida players who have been suspended for the duration of the 2017 season thus far.

Ahead of the season opener against Michigan, Florida announced suspensions for nine players, including Antonio Callaway, the team’s top receiver, and Jordan Scarlett, the team’s top rusher. The suspension stemmed from an investigation into the players allegedly using “school-issued, cost-of-attendance credit cards to buy electronics from the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash.”

Now, according to multiple outlets, those players — Callaway, Scarlett, receiver Rick Wells, defensive lineman Jordan Smith, offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, linebacker Ventrell Miller, linebacker James Houston, defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones and defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis. could be charged with felony fraud.

The players were allegedly using stolen credit cards to make purchases.

Telfort, a true freshman, is facing upward of 30 charges.

The sworn affidavits were formally filed against the players Monday and the State Attorney’s Office will decide whether to proceed with the charges.

Here is the breakdown of possible charges, all of which are third-degree felonies, via SECCountry.com:

True freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort could be facing 30 third-degree felony charges: 13 counts of use of another person’s credit card without consent, 12 counts of fraud-illegal use of credit card, four counts of possession of a forged instrument and one count for fraud/obtaining property for under $20,000.

Callaway, Scarlett, junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, redshirt freshman wide receiver Rick Wells, freshmen linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller, and defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones each have two charges recommended against them: One for fraud/obtaining property for under $20,000 and one for possession and use of another person’s credit card without consent.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Smith could be facing up to five charges: Four counts of using another person’s ID/credit card without consent and one for obtaining property under $20,000.

Callaway, Davis, Desir-Jones, Houston, Miller, Smith and Telfort were suspended Aug. 13 and the two others — Scarlett and Wells — were added to the list just before the opener against Michigan. The players have not participated in any team activities since the suspensions were announced.

At his Monday news conference, Gators coach Jim McElwain was unaware the case had proceeded but said the filing of felony charges would certainly have an impact on the players’ status with the program.

“You’re darn right,” he said.

Florida, now 2-1 and ranked No. 21 after a comeback win over Kentucky on Saturday, faces Vanderbilt this weekend.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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