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Prosecutor: Victims deserve part of ex-quarterback Art Schlichter's concussion funds

By ANDREW

WELSH-HUGGINS

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Multiple individuals defrauded in a scheme perpetrated by an ex-Ohio State and NFL quarterback and his accomplice should receive money from the former player’s share of a national concussion settlement, an Ohio prosecutor is arguing.

At issue is the case of former star player Art Schlichter, now serving a nearly 11-year sentence on federal fraud charges.

Prosecutors say Schlichter promised college and NFL game tickets, including to the Super Bowl, but never delivered despite receiving thousands of dollars in payments.

One of Schlichter’s victims was retiree Anita Barney, the widow of a former Wendy’s CEO, who lost nearly her entire life savings to Schlichter.

Barney also defrauded multiple friends and acquaintances under Schlichter’s direction and pleaded guilty to two felony theft counts for her involvement in the scheme, narrowly avoiding prison time. She was ordered to pay $427,000 to 19 victims.

Schlichter has received nearly $700,000 from a national settlement with the NFL over concussions suffered by players, according to a federal court filing last week by Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

Of that, Barney is entitled to about $177,000 as one of Schlichter’s victims, the filing said. However, O’Brien says that money should go to Barney’s 19 victims.

O’Brien asked a judge on June 16 to order the money currently held by a federal clerk of courts be turned over to the state.

Meanwhile, a defense attorney is again seeking early release for the 60-year-old Schlichter because of dangers from by the coronavirus.

Schlichter played for Ohio State from 1978-81 and later for the Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills, and the Detroit and Cincinnati Arena League teams.