Former AAU Coach Sentenced on Wire Fraud Charges
Thomas Patric Boggs Previously Admitted to Defrauding Former College Basketball Star
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 25, 2014|
LYNCHBURG, VA—A former AAU coach and mentor to a local college basketball star who pled guilty in December was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg on a wire fraud charges.
Thomas Patric Boggs, 60, of Brookneal, Virginia, previously pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. This morning in U.S. District court, Boggs was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. In addition, Boggs was ordered to pay over $380,000 to the victims of his fraud.
“Mr. Boggs exploited the trust placed in him by Travis Watson and turned it into a vehicle for fraud,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “He stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mr. Watson and caused harm that extends well beyond financial loss.”
Boggs has admitted that he met Travis Watson when Watson was a freshman in high school in Texas. During a trip to Lynchburg, Virginia, to play in an AAU tournament, Watson met the defendant, who welcomed Watson into his home. The two soon became close and through Boggs’ efforts, Watson was able to attend Oak Hill Academy, where he continued to develop his basketball skills. Watson considered Boggs a mentor, coach, and father figure.
Following high school, Watson attended and played basketball at the University of Virginia before playing professionally in Greece, Italy, Lithuania, and other places in Europe.
The government’s evidence established, and Boggs admitted, that during Watson’s time overseas, Boggs approached him and offered to invest a portion of Watson’s earnings to ensure financial security post-basketball. Boggs knew that due to the close personal nature of their relationship, Watson would trust him to invest his money wisely. Boggs instructed Watson how to wire money into a pair of accounts and that Watson expected Boggs to invest that money for Watson’s benefit.
Between 2009 and 2011, Watson wired $357,965 to the accounts controlled by Boggs, who admitted that he used nearly all of the money sent by Watson to pay the personal expenses of Boggs and to pay family members. In addition, throughout the process, Boggs assured Watson that he was making sound investments and that he was going to make Watson a “millionaire.”
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony Giorno and Laura Rottenborn prosecuted the case for the United States.