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Former Akron basketball star Romeo Travis charged with wire fraud; accused of underreporting overseas contract totals

Romeo Travis has been accused of underreporting his overseas contract totals in a scheme to pay less child support.

AKRON, Ohio — Former St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and Akron basketball star Romeo Travis is facing fraud charges following accusations that he underreported income totals in an effort to lower his tax liability and reduce child support payments.

According to the Department of Justice, the 39-year-old Travis has been charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of wire fraud. It is alleged that with his client's knowledge, Travis' agent altered his basketball contracts with overseas teams by understating his income, prior to sending those contracts to Travis’ tax preparer. In doing so, Travis reduced his tax liability, as well as child support payments to an unidentified individual as managed by the Stark County Child Support Enforcement Agency.

In convicted, Travis' sentence "will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation." In most cases, the defendant receives less than the maximum sentence.

A native of Akron, Travis was a standout player at St. Vincent-St. Mary, where he played alongside LeBron James. James' friendship with Travis, as well as teammates Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton and Willie McGee was the subject of the 2008 documentary "More than a Game."

After his time at St. Vincent-St. Mary, where he was a part of two state championship-winning teams, Travis continued his basketball career at the University of Akron alongside Joyce. A two-time All-Mid-American Conference selection and the 2007 MAC Player of the Year, Travis averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in his four seasons playing for the Zips. In 2020, Akron retired Travis' No. 24 jersey.

Following his time at Akron, the 6-foot-6 forward embarked on a lengthy playing career overseas, most recently playing in France in 2021. In the time since, he has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary, with current Irish head coach Dru Joyce II telling the Akron Beacon Journal that he was grooming his former star to be his successor.

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