A grand jury in Ohio has indicted Preston J Harrison, a former member of the Ohio State football team and Thomas E Jackson Jr stating the business partners bilked $9 million from investors in a sports drink manufacturing company that they drove into bankruptcy.
Harrison, Jackson, and Lovena E Harrison, Preston's wife, appeared in a Columbus federal court after their arrest but were not detained after the hearing.
The two men face 31 charges each of conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud. Harrison and his wife were charged with the false filing of income tax returns. The grand jury also accused Mrs. Harrison of avoiding reporting of income with improper structuring of deposits.
The wire fraud charges carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison each, while the money-laundering charges could result in 10 years in prison each. The maximum prison time for he structuring and tax charges is five years.
The indictment covers actions by the defendants related to a product called OXYwater. Investors were lured with false claims that the product contained more oxygen than other products of its kind. Jackson and Harrison also provided investors with false information about their personal investments in their company, employees, and salaries. Their lies continued with false profit data and sales figures when the company began operation.
Ohio State recruited Harrison from Columbus' South High School as a top quarterback prospect in 1992. The San Diego Chargers drafted him in 1995 as a linebacker but the athlete never played for the team.