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Charges added to man who scammed sports fans

Posted: January 3, 2012 - 1:18pm  |  Updated: January 8, 2012 - 4:01am

Twitter @ValerieRowell

An Augusta man who pled guilty last year to charges related to a Ponzi scheme now faces more charges after investigators say he continued to scam investors and sports fans.

Rodney Wade Grubbs, 42, of Reserve Lane, was charged with theft by deception. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

Grubbs is accused of soliciting money from a man in July to purchase tickets to the SEC championship football game and forging invoices from the SEC. Another man claims he gave Grubbs money in June to buy, then resell, tickets to the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Ron Van Vactor said at a preliminary hearing Tuesday that Grubbs offered the SEC tickets to one man for $6,360, but the tickets were refused because Grubbs “wouldn’t take a credit card and the tickets couldn’t be put in his name.”

He then approached the second man, who accepted the offer and wrote a check. Grubbs even provided an invoice that he claimed was from the SEC to the man by email.

That check was passed along to pay the man who’d invested in the baseball tickets, Van Vactor said.

“I’m sure that check was not actually cashed by the SEC due to their statements that everything was forged,” Van Vactor said.

Columbia County Associate Magistrate Jason Troiano determined at the hearing that there is enough evidence to send the case to Superior Court for prosecution.

Grubbs is still serving 30 years of probation after he pled guilty to 15 similar charges in September 2010. He was accused of bilking three investors out of more than $500,000, starting in January 2008.

He told investors he would use their money to purchase hotel rooms and tickets to concerts and sporting events, including the Super Bowl, the Ryder Cup, the Masters Tournament and the Kentucky Derby.

He pled guilty to 12 counts of theft and three counts of forgery in connection with those charges. He also was sentenced to pay $442,500 in restitution.

Grubbs was arrested on the new charges in November.

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