Usually, the main complaint against a sports talk show host is that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about … or that he’s biased against certain teams or players … or that he’s simply an egotistical, loudmouth jerk. But Charles “Scott” McKinney of 98.1 The Ticket in Fort Walton Beach, FL, managed to rack up some more serious complaints - such as fraud, theft and racketeering.
(Really looks like he upgraded that equipment, huh?)
The SANTA ROSA PRESS GAZETTE reports that McKinney will serve at least a year in prison after being convicted of bilking investors in his “Southern Sports Tonight” radio show out of more than $100,000. And for good measure, he also stole his ex-fiance’s credit card and ran up charges to the tune of $10,000.
But is that enough to get him fired from his job?
Of course not - this is sports talk radio we’re talking about, and he didn’t do anything crazy like rip on the Crimson Tide. McKinney is still on the air, and the station’s general manager won’t pull him off the air until they are ready to take him away to The Big House (and I don’t mean Michigan Stadium).
According to prosecutors, McKinney convinced investors that “Southern Sports Tonight” was going to be syndicated nationally. (You would think that a show having “Southern” right in the name would be a tip-off that it probably wasn’t a great national idea.) He convinced them that he needed to invest in equipment, and sold double the number of shares available in the show to fund it - the “equipment” being a bunch of personal items, apparently.
According to prosecutor Russ Edgar, McKinney’s plea deal was specifically designed to make sure he did time in state prison instead of county jail for one reason:
“We don’t want our victims to hear him broadcasting from the county jail on a work release,” Edgar said.
The kicker: prosecutors say McKinney ran a similar scam in Tennessee, and criminal charges have been filed against McKinney in Mississippi, as well. Honestly, does The Ticket have an HR department, and if so just how lazy was their reference check before they hired this clown?