At 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, Sam Cabrera, a special agent for the North Carolina Secretary of State, obtained a search warrant to reach bank records from Gary Wichard’s Bank of America account located in the state. A Superior Court Judge issued the warrant, which must be executed by 4:30 p.m. today.
In his Application for Search Warrant, Cabrera notes that when he interviewed former University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill football player Marvin Austin in September 2010, Austin stated that he had contacted his former assistant high school coach, Todd Amis, to pay for round trip flights to California to visit NFL player Kentwan Balmer. Austin also stated that Balmer paid for the hotel and for training expenses at Pro Active Sports. Later that month, Balmer confirmed the payments and stated that Wichard never paid nor reimbursed Balmer for any of those expenses. In October 2010, Wichard backed up Austin’s and Balmer’s claims and said that he never provided anything of value to Austin. He also admitted that he was not currently a registered Athlete Agent in the State of North Carolina. Last month, Cabrera found out that Wichard has not been registered in North Carolina since December 31, 1998. One must consider that statement separately from the warrant; Wichard has recruited in the state in the past.
Flight payment information for the flights that Austin took to California show that Pro Tect Management, Wichard’s company, paid for changes to Austin’s itinerary. In December, Amis (the assistant high school coach) admitted to paying for Austin’s flights to California, but said that he was reimbursed by Wichard for at least one of the flights.
It looks like Sam Cabrera is on a mission, and the result of that mission could turn out to be a lot worse for Wichard than the 9 month suspension slap on the wrist that he received from the NFL Players Association in December 2010. The NFLPA decided to focus on Wichard’s impermissible communication with Austin prior to Austin being eligible for the NFL Draft. North Carolina will focus on the real activity of concern. Losing Arrelious Benn and Brandon Jackson pale in comparison to what Wichard stands to lose if he is found guilty of violations of the North Carolina Athlete Agents Act.
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