Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Hawaiian sports agent and the local golf sponsor

There really aren't that many good days, in this sense, but on a good day a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office reads like a good pitch for a fun, snarky TV episode.

Today is a good day.



Andrew W. Moss, CEO of Onyx Sports Group, Inc. pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge involving his embezzlement from a local golf sponsor, United States Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway announced today.

According to the facts filed with the court, Moss and his agency Onyx Sports Group, Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii represents aspiring athletes in sports and marketing. Scott Yancy III, Glen Carbon, IL is an aspiring professional golfer who was a client of Moss and Onyx, and who had received some notoriety for his part in the reality television series “The Big Break II” aired on the Golf Channel.

Yancy met a sponsor at a charity golf tournament in St. Louis, who agreed to provide money to Yancy as he attempted to make the PGA Tour. Yancy directed him to contact Moss. Moss directed the sponsor to wire $50,000 to a bank account in Hawaii that he had set up to pay Yancy’s expenses. The sponsor then wired the money to that account on June 11, 2008.

After wiring the money, the sponsor repeatedly inquired with Yancy about the money he had paid Moss. Yancy said that he never received any of the money. The sponsor demanded a refund from Moss, who had used the funds for his personal expenses. Moss then obtained the sponsor’s bank account number and wiring information, supposedly to refund the money.

Moss wired $10,000, but not the complete refund. Instead, Moss used the sponsor’s
account information to withdraw $21,000 from the account. In total, Moss fraudulently obtained $61,000 from the sponsor.

Moss, 26, Honolulu, Hawaii, pleaded guilty to one felony count of wire fraud before United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey. He now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000, when he is sentenced on June 13, 2009.

Hanaway commended the work on the case by the United States Secret Service; and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Schelp, who is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Perhaps one day Hanaway will be commending the IRS and FBI investigators who worked with her staff in unraveling the "by hook and by crook" towing scandal involving the St. Louis Police Department. A whole lot of fleeced taxpayers and one whistleblower cop are waiting!

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