A firm headed by an ex con duped at least three HoCo schools into paying for an appearance by a Ravens players at school assemblies. The problem was the players knew nothing about it. According to this story by Joe Burris in The Sun, while the HoCo schools and several other schools in the metro area paid the Odyssey Group, headed by Joseph Gill “thousands of dollars, it did not provide the players as promised and hasn't refunded the money.”
“In 2006, Gill was charged in
Maryland with violating the terms of his release from federal prison in Cumberland. He had been convicted of bank and wire fraud in U.S. District Court in in 1998.” Vermont
Not surprisingly, the Ravens aren't too happy about this either.
“Patrick Gleason, Ravens media relations manager, said, "The Ravens do not have any affiliation with this company whatsoever," and added that any type of community appearance that involves players goes through the team's community relations department.”
This isn’t the first time Mr. Gill has been involved in this type of scam either. According to this story by Mary McGuirt in Severna Park Patch, in 2007 he ran a similar scam with Steelers players where “he booked athlete appearances at schools, didn't deliver, and made off with the money.”
“In 2007, a reporter from WPXI—a Pittsburgh-based news station—spoke with the PTA president of a school in the Bethlehem Center School District in Pennsylvania who said she couldn’t reach Gill after he booked former Pittsburgh Steeler John Banaszak to appear at the school and the player never showed up.”