July 29, 2004
By RICHARD C. LEWIS
Associated Press Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Marcus Douthit, a second-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers out of Providence College, was charged on Thursday with taking part in a wide-ranging identity theft and embezzlement scam and pocketing several thousand dollars.
The 125-count indictment unsealed by a statewide grand jury accuses Douthit with allegedly participating in a phony car accident as part of a scheme to obtain money from insurance companies, said Michael Healey, spokesman for the state attorney general office.
Six others have been charged in the alleged scheme.
He was paid $6,500 from money obtained from the false claim in December 2001, and deposited that money into a Providence bank account, the indictment states.
Douthit has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and one count of embezzlement more than $100. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on the charges, Healey said.
The 24-year-old center was reportedly on the verge of being offered a guaranteed contract with the Lakers after playing well in a summer league, according to The Providence Journal. He averaged nearly 8 points and 6 rebounds for the Friars last season.
Healey said prosecutors had left messages with Douthit's agent urging the player to turn himself in.
Providence spokeswoman Pat Vieira said school officials could not comment because they hadn't seen the indictment in full.
"It all came as a complete surprise to us," Vieira said.
Marcus Douthit was a second-round selection by the Lakers in the NBA draft.