Jones' agent sentenced in bank fraud case

February 27, 2008 2:13:09 PM PST
Track star Marion Jones' longtime agent was sentenced Wednesday to six months of home detention for his minor role in a bank fraud that resulted in a six month prison sentence for Jones. Charles Wells, 56, Roanoke, Texas, also was fined $7,500 for bank fraud by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in Manhattan after pleading guilty to the charge last March.

Karas said the charge related to a scheme designed to cash up to $6 million worth of stolen or forged checks through a network of track figures and New York counterfeiters.

He said Wells, who faced as much as three years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, earned leniency by providing significant cooperation with the government and testifying at a trial last year.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Wells told the court. "I have suffered everyday. I have humiliated my family. I just apologize."

On Nov. 2, USA Track & Field suspended his license to be an agent for athletes for two years.

Jones was sentenced last month after admitting she lied to investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs and about her role in a check-fraud scheme that also ensnared former Olympian Tim Montgomery, who pleaded guilty last year to cashing bogus checks.

Jones admitted in October that she lied about her knowledge of the involvement of Montgomery, the father of her older son, in the scheme to cash millions of dollars worth of stolen or forged checks. She is scheduled to report to prison in two weeks.

She also admitted that she lied to federal investigators in November 2003 when she said she had never used performance-enhancing drugs. She said she took the designer steroid "the clear" from September 2000 to July 2001. "The clear" has been linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative or BALCO, the lab at the center of the steroids scandal in professional sports.

Joseph Burton, a lawyer for Wells, said his client participated in the scheme because he did not want to disappoint his clients, Montgomery and Jones. "He wanted clients too much and should have known better," Burton said.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Danya Perry said Wells was motivated at least in part by the promise of a percentage of proceeds from the scheme.

The judge agreed.

"The clear intent was thievery on a massive scale," he said.

- Send us your sports story tips
- Click here for more sports stories