Marion Jones' agent linked to fraud case

Updated: May 2, 2007, 10:12 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Track star Marion Jones' longtime agent pleaded guilty to bank fraud six weeks ago in a case that has also entangled the sprinter's coach and the father of her child.

Charles Wells, the president of Vector Sports Management, entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan on March 22, the same day he was charged, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Wells played a minor role in a scam that used a stable of track figures to cash and launder millions of dollars in forged or counterfeit checks over several years.

Sprinter and former Olympian Tim Montgomery pleaded guilty in April to cashing some of the bogus checks on behalf of a ring of counterfeiters in New York. Montgomery, who fathered a child with Jones, could be sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Jones' track coach, 1976 Olympic gold medal winner Steven Riddick, is on trial in New York on similar charges. He has pleaded innocent.

A criminal complaint filed by prosecutors said Wells helped Montgomery turn the bad checks into cash by depositing two of the counterfeit slips into bank accounts he controlled. Together, the checks were for $1.1 million.

It wasn't immediately clear how Wells got involved in the scheme. Court records did not fully describe his role.

The lead prosecutor in the case did not immediately return a phone message Wednesday. Wells' attorney also did not return messages.

When contacted by telephone, Wells hung up without answering questions.

Jones was still being listed on the Vector Sports Web site as being a client. The Olympic champion has not been charged in the fraud case, but bank records indicate that she was among the people who received large checks from accounts established with other checks that were counterfeit. The $25,000 check written to Jones, however, never cleared, meaning she did not receive any money, court records said.

Jones, also an Olympic champion, has not been charged in the case, but bank records indicate that she was among the people who received large checks from accounts established with other checks that were counterfeit. The $25,000 check written to Jones, however, never cleared, meaning she did not receive any money, court records said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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