Former OU Football Player Faces 3 Lawsuits
TULSA, Oklahoma - A former OU football player is accused of scamming people out of nearly a million dollars.
He's facing three lawsuits that claim he lied to investors about athletic apparel, then blew the money on his music career and lavish lifestyle.
Two Tulsa lawsuits and a third in Oklahoma City say TJ Hamilton used his football status to dupe people into investing in a bogus invention.
"You're dealing with someone who has done this time and time again, and unfortunately my client got caught up in it," said attorney Robert Sartin.
Sartin represents one of the people suing the former player and Hamilton's parents.
"He's embarrassed that he was duped. I think that he's frustrated that he didn't figure this out sooner. I think that he very much feels betrayed," Sartin said.
According to the lawsuits, Hamilton had an idea for nutritional products and innovative sports apparel, like antibacterial chin straps.
Hamilton was on the OU roster at the same time as star players Sam Bradford and Ryan Broyles. The lawsuits say Hamilton sold his ideas, by claiming he had the endorsement of his big-name teammates.
Once he had $840,000 from investors, the lawsuits say Hamilton and his parents spent the money on lavish trips to Las Vegas, airline tickets, hotels, clothing, meals, shoes and electronics.
The lawsuits also say Hamilton used a lot of money to fund his music career, paying for things like expensive music videos, a record producer, an agent and stays in Nashville.
Sartin said what Hamilton sold as an investment opportunity was really "An elaborate ruse in order to go raise funds to support a lifestyle that they wouldn't otherwise be able to support."
The lawsuits say Hamilton claimed he invented the products at OU, where he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.
The university tells us Hamilton never graduated.
Hamilton also said he had a patent, but the lawsuit says his application was rejected.
"If you follow the money trail, you'll see that it leads to Mr. Hamilton, and so he may claim he was duped or misled, but I think he would have to explain why he wound up with all the money," Sartin said.
The lawsuits say Hamilton preyed on entrepreneurs, friends and even a widow he met at church.
We spoke with Hamilton's attorney Wednesday, and she says her client denies all the allegations. She said they are bogus claims and Hamilton is devastated because he was duped by some of his business partners, who are now suing him.