LeMay was charged with four counts of theft by deception. His bond was set at $6,000, jail records show. Tray Matthews, a safety, was charged with three counts of theft by deception. His bond was set at $4,500. Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach, defensive linemen, were each charged with two counts of theft by deception. Bonds for both Taylor and DeLoach were set at $3,000.
Taylor was the first of the four booked into jail Monday at 8:41 p.m., booking records show. By 9:22 p.m., the remaining three were also in jail. All four were released before 11 p.m. The Bulldogs are conducting their first spring football practice Tuesday at 4:45
The discrepancies were brought to the attention of police by the UGA Athletic Association, which discovered the fraud through its routine accounting practices.
“Their financial division noticed that these checks were being processed twice,” UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said Tuesday morning. “I got contacted by a senior administrator from the athletic association about the matter to file an official report and investigate. They get audited and they have to show fraud and account for fraud. Two, there’s a compliance issue because these players are basically being compensated, or received extra benefits, so to speak. They need to document all this so it wouldn’t appear as though the athletic association had done it.”
Williamson said the amount of the checks was $71.50 each, bringing the total amount of the fraud to $786.50. As such, the crimes are considered misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 18 months in a county jail.
Student-athletes often receive payments from the athletic department as compensation for or reimbursement for regularly-provided services, such meals or lodging.
— Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this report.