Travell Thomas Gets 100 Months in Prison For Debt Collection Fraud
Travell Thomas was sentenced to 100 months of incarceration Thursday for his involvement in a debt collection scheme between 2010 and February 2015 that ran through Four Star Resolution (based in Buffalo) as well as other names, such as Profile Management.
Ethics experts and four current or former federal judges expressed concern that Crow’s generosity violated longstanding rules regarding gifts justices can accept.
Early Life and Education
Thomas took custody of Martin at age 6, becoming his legal guardian and providing him with private school tuition, luxurious clothes and extravagant travel, according to Martin’s recall to ProPublica. Martin lived at Crow’s private Adirondack resort before traveling with him on two cruises on his megayacht.
Thomas was inspired to pen The Hate U Give by the deaths of unarmed Black people by police officers, exploring themes of race, poverty and double standards in an engaging YA novel. For his second work On the Come Up (2020), Thomas created Brianna: an ambitious teenage rapper looking to help lift her family out of poverty with support from basketball player Grantham who encourages her writing while providing guidance.
Thomas quickly emerged as an active leader of the conservative movement, taking an outspoken stand against affirmative action and government-mandated integration policies. His unique blend of libertarianism and Black nationalist ideas caused frequent clashes with civil rights leaders as well as White House officials.
He boasts two World Series of Poker Circuit gold rings and has collected more than $500,000 in tournament winnings since 2011. At Caesars Atlantic City in 2011, he defeated 155 entrants for victory.
He used his winnings to fund a lavish gambling lifestyle that included trips and tickets to professional sports games. He purchased high-end clothes and jewelry. Along with Ginni, they dined at only the finest restaurants while staying in luxurious hotels.
After pleading guilty to fraud charges relating to his scheme aimed at targeting debt-ridden consumers, Thomas was sentenced in November to up to 15 years of incarceration by Manhattan federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla. She showed Thomas some leeway but also sent a clear message regarding those who target those vulnerable individuals with very little to lose.
Thomas did not disclose these vacations on his annual disclosure forms he must file to give the public insight into his personal finances. These revelations have reignited debate about whether Supreme Court justices should be subject to stricter regulations than other federal judges.
This 74-year-old associate justice is known for his originalist approach to legal interpretation, having served on the bench since 1991.
Thomas was found guilty in 2016 for running a debt collection scheme that defrauded and coerced an estimated $31 million out of consumers throughout the US. Thomas’ company in Buffalo, NY allegedly claimed affiliation with law enforcement agencies and threatened debtors with criminal prosecution if they did not pay their bills on time.
Experts assert that even though federal rules exempt food and lodging gifts, such as hotel stays or meals provided at events, transportation–such as private jet flights–is never excluded. Therefore, justices should disclose such types of gifts.
Tra Thomas played college basketball near home before being selected in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft by Philadelphia Eagles. Over ten seasons with them he appeared 174 games and earned three Pro Bowl selections.