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Florida Gators bought laptops, fast food and more with stolen credit cards, police say

The nine Florida football players who have been suspended since August are facing potential felony charges for fraud, according to sworn complaint affidavits filed Monday by the University of Florida Police Department.

Antonio Callaway, Jordan Scarlett, Rick Wells, Ventrell Miller, Keivonnis Davis, Richerd Desir-Jones and James Houston are all facing two possible third-degree felony charges, per Alachua County court records.

Defensive end Jordan Smith and offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, a freshman offensive lineman from Miami's Booker T. Washington High School, are facing multiple charges for multiple transactions and stolen information.

 

The State Attorney's Office will review the evidence and decide whether to formally charge the players.

Most of the players are accused of using stolen credit card information to transfer money to their student debit card accounts, which they then used to purchase laptop computers, iPads and headphones, among other items.

The nine players are facing 62 criminal counts.

Seven of the nine are accused of making one purchase. Smith and Telfort are accused of using multiple cards to make multiple purchases.

According to the complaints, Callaway spent 2,022.44 on a 13-inch MacBook Pro, which came with gloss black Beats headphones thanks to a coupon code, after using the stolen credit card to transfer $1,970 into his student debit account. Scarlett also bought a MacBook with rose gold headphones.

The same complaint says some of the players admitted to selling what they bought. On Aug. 1, Smith bought three different types of Beats headphones ranging in price from $69.99 to $149.99.

The complaint filed against Scarlett says he used his girlfriend's account to make his purchase after transferring $1,940 from the stolen card to it.

When interviewed by police, she said Scarlett told her there was money on her account from "an agent" in New York and that he needed her to come with him to the UF bookstore to pick out a computer. He told police he transferred the money to her account because “he needed the money but did not want to get in trouble."

 

Telfort is alleged to have used stolen information to buy items ranging from a combo meal at Sonic to an iPad (with $99 insurance) to gummy worms.

The group has a heavy South Florida connection. The two most prominent names -- Callaway, a starting receiver, and Scarlett, a starting running back -- are both from the area, with Callaway, like Telfort, having attended Booker T. Washington in Miami and Scarlett having attended St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale.

Davis attended Miami Central. Houston attended Plantation American Heritage, and Desir-Jones is also an Aquinas alum.

Scarlett, Callaway, Miller, Davis, Desir-Jones, Smith and Telfort have been suspended since Aug. 13. Scarlett and Wells joined them on Aug. 30.

The news of the affidavits being filed broke in the middle of coach Jim McElwain's press conference on Monday, and McElwain said he was unaware of it. When asked, he said no decisions have been made about the futures of those players.

“You’re asking me something I don’t even know about,” he said.

He added that, if charged, the news could change the players' situations.

"Darn right," he said.

Center T.J. McCoy, who spoke to reporters shortly after McElwain, said he still has faith in those players returning.

"I really believe that those guys are gonna come back," he said, "and I believe they're gonna help us to have a great season."

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