NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Eight Rutgers football players who were either suspended or dismissed from the team over their involvement in a credit card scheme avoided jail sentences this week when a judge admitted them to a probationary program, according to news reports.
Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez on Thursday allowed the eight men to enter a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program after they paid more than $11,000 in restitution for purchases they made through the illegal scheme, according to NJ.com.
Jimenez sentenced the eight defendants - Brendan Devera, of Totowa, Kai Gray, of Union, Malik Vaccaro-Dixon,of Port Charlotte, Fla., Edwin Lopez, of Camden, Kwabena Marfo, of Alexandria, Va., Syhiem Simmons, of Brooklyn, NY., Christian Onyechi, of West Orange and Naijee Jones, of Erial, New Jersey - to 18 months probation, according to the report.
If they complete the probation without further arrests, the charges from the scheme can be dismissed from their records.
Last August, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced over a two week period from April 22 to May 3, 2018, the defendants participated in a fraud scheme in which they obtained credit card numbers belonging to others without their consent or authorization.
The men then transferred funds to various RU Express Accounts for personal use, the prosecutor said.
RU Express is the official university debit account that allows students, faculty and staff to use the Rutgers ID cards as debit cards at over 100 on-campus and off-campus locations, including restaurants, according to the Rutgers website.
Vaccaro-Dixon, Jones, Onyechi and Marfo have been allowed back on the university football team on a probationary basis, according to the NJ.com report.