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Former OSU QB Schlichter Remains in Jail; More Alleged Victims Come Forward
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People who claim they were cheated by Art Schlichter continue to come forward. Prosecutors say more than two dozen now say they gave money to the former OSU quarterback and admitted compulsive gambler. WOSU reports, there’s likely little chance they will see the money again.
The phone continues to ring at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office with calls from people who say they were conned by 50-year-old Schlichter. As of now, Schlichter is charged with one count of felony grand theft. Prosecutors say he swindled Anita Barney, the widow of former Wendy’s chairman Robert Barney, out of $1 million.
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said there are at least 30 people who have contacted his office about the case.
“I had two new victims out of county contact me yesterday after we asked for people to contact [us], a man in the Cleveland area and a man in the Cincinnati area, who had been both scammed on so-called investments and Super Bowl tickets,” O’Brien said.
But some alleged victims, O’Brien said, have bowed out of the case.
“Once they found out it’s likely restitution is available or will be ordered determined not to move forward,” he said.
O’Brien said there likely will not be restitution because Schlichter is broke. And Anita Barney who faces civil lawsuits is, in O’Brien’s words, almost penniless herself.
Restitution for her that she wrote checks to or borrowed money from at the behest of Mr. Schlichter, and in many instances almost as a result of coercion, at least I understand from the lawyer that funds are not available for restitution,” O’Brien said.
Schlichter, who turned himself into authorities Monday, was arraigned yesterday. Attorney, Sam Shamansky, says his client has been fully cooperative and he said negotiations with the prosecutor’s office continue.
“I just hope to minimize Mr. Schlichter’s exposure in multiple jurisdictions and achieve and outcome that’s fair enough for all, of course,” Shamansky said.
Local and federal authorities are investigating the other allegations, and O’Brien expects additional charges to be filed.
The three-time Heisman Trophy finalist already served a 10 year stint in prison for gambling-related crimes. He wrote a book about his addiction and started a foundation to help compulsive gambling.
O’Brien expects some kind of plea deal rather than a trial. He said Schlichter’s record as well as his cooperation in this case both will be considered in his sentence. Under the current charge, he faces up to ten years in prison.