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Man Arrested After Attempting To Extort $3.5 Million From U of L

Andy Lyons

In this day and age, any story like this has the potential to breed completely false offspring that go viral, so let's break this situation down fact by fact.

--On April 23, Tom Jurich received an email from a Mississippi man who was writing under the alias of "Melinda." In the email, the man claimed to have knowledge of a point-shaving scandal involving three members of the Louisville men's basketball team. The man threatened to go public with this information if he was not paid $3.5 million.

--Within minutes, Jurich alerted both the NCAA and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who then notified the FBI.

--The man was later discovered to be Thomas E. Ray III, who was convicted of two counts of extortion in 2004. In Oct. of 2003, Ray sent an email threatening to expose alleged security problems at Best Buy unless he was paid $2.5 million.

--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.

--Although someone will undoubtedly make the claim, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RECENT SUSPENSION OF CHANE BEHANAN.

To sum up, a guy who was convicted of extortion almost a decade ago tried to threaten Tom Jurich under a female alias by saying that he had information about players shaving points. It's also worth noting that no team won more games against the spread than Louisville last season. It's equally worth noting...national championship.

Anyway, here's Jurich's statement on the matter:

Within minutes of reading the communication in April, I reached out to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway as well as the NCAA. 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.

And that should be that.

Enjoy your return home, Mr. Ray.