Jury Convicts Man Of Swindling Baseball Coach, Others

Friday, September 14th 2007, 10:57 pm
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ A Payne County jury found a former travel agency owner guilty Friday of swindling more than $900,000 from several prominent Guthrie residents and Wichita State University baseball coach Gene Stephenson.

Jack A. Logsdon, 61, was convicted of 16 felony counts. The jury recommended Logsdon serve 29 years in prison and pay $50,000 in fines. Formal sentencing was set for November 13, and Logsdon's bail was set at $100,000.

``I feel somewhat vindicated,'' said former Guthrie Mayor Jon Gumerson, among the people whom Logsdon swindled. ``I feel that justice prevailed. ... It restores my faith in human nature and the jury system.''

Logsdon's attorney, Mack Martin, said it was a ``strong possibility'' the verdict would be appealed.

Testimony during the trial indicated that Logsdon swindled longtime friends using scams involving cattle, land and property transactions. The jurors were told the cattle purportedly sold by Logsdon didn't exist.

``He was selling blue sky,'' Assistant Attorney General Charles Rogers said during his closing arguments. ``That's the way confidence games work, and that's what this was.''

State Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office handled the prosecution of the case.

``Logsdon's cattle did not exist, and he sold the land without disclosing the true ownership to the buyer nor the sale of the land to his joint owners,'' Edmondson said. ``He sold a travel agency that basically belonged to the bank. He ran a scheme and got caught.''

Stephenson has been Wichita State's coach for 30 years and guided the Shockers to a national championship in 1989. During the trial, Stephenson, who grew up in Guthrie, said Logsdon talked him into joint cattle and land transactions, saying ``he thought it would be fun.'' Stephenson said he knew nothing about cattle.

Stephenson said he was bilked out of at least $285,000.

Logsdon's other victims included former Oklahoma State University baseball and basketball player Fred Moulder, former Guthrie High School basketball coach Charles Crooks and Robert Donaldson of Mustang, who was Logsdon's college roommate and the best man at his wedding.

Logsdon's trial was moved from Guthrie to Stillwater because of pretrial publicity.