Man Jailed for Extorting D1 Basketball Coach

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

( – Ronald Bell from Arizona was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison after he tried extorting Georgia Tech by making false accusations about the men’s basketball coach having sexually assaulted someone.

Bell, 57, pleaded guilty in March for having conspired to the extortion scheme along with a security guard from Georgia Tech, and Jennifer Pendley, his co-defendant. According to the filing, Bell had recruited the security guard to make up false allegations about having seen Josh Pastner, the Georgia Tech basketball coach commit sexual assault. For this false admission, the guard was going to receive a portion of the extortion money that Bell was hoping the university would pay him.

Bell had been expecting that the payment from the university would amount to around $20 million and would include a new Jeep.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan in a press release noted that Bell had attempted to not only destroy the reputation of the basketball coach but also extort Georgia Tech. He added that in this particular case, Bell had sought to enrich himself through harming Georgia Tech and their members of staff.

In one of the conversations with the university that had taken place through text, Bell had warned them that should they fail to comply then everything would turn “ugly.” He had further claimed that he was trying to reach an amicable solution with the university that would not harm its reputation.

Bell had tried to extort Georgia Tech for money in exchange for him not speaking out about the false sexual assault. However, the university was unwilling to pay Bell.

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