Local News

A Mississippi man is under a federal indictment on charges that he attempted to extort the University of Louisville athletics.

Thomas E. Ray, 35, of Jackson, Miss., was indicted this month on a single count of extortion, said the U.S. district attorney’s office in Louisville. The indictment was unsealed on Thursday following Ray’s arrest.

Authorities allege that Ray adopted an alias—Melinda White—and sent emails from Jackson to Kentucky in April attempting to extort $3.5 million by threatening the reputation of the UofL Athletics Association.

In a statement, UofL athletics director Tom Jurich said he reached out to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway “within minutes of reading the communication in April.”

The case was turned over to the FBI.

“We were confident that there was no truth to the accusations made in the communication,” Jurich said in his statement. 

The claims reportedly involved point-shaving.

Ray would face as many as two years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000 if convicted, according to the district attorney’s office in Louisville. Ray made his initial court appearance in Jackson on Thursday and posted a $10,000 bond. He’s to appear in federal court in Louisville on Nov. 7.