North American Football League chairman & wife arrested, accused of defrauding investors
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WZTV) —
The chairman and wife of the North American Football League are facing charges after investigators say they defrauded investors who were promised a new national football league and production company that would "rival ESPN."
Christopher White, 46, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is charged with grand theft over $100,000 in the first degree. His wife Tracy, 47, was charged with theft between $20,000 and $100,000. Both Whites are charged by Bay County, Fla. deputies with assistance from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.
The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said The NAFL was supposed open its inaugural season in 2016 with eight teams playing a spring schedule with expansion plans to 16 teams throughout the U.S. According to its website, the NAFL consisted of teams from Memphis, Birmingham, Columbus, Connecticut, Kentucky, North Carolina, Orlando and Virginia.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office said they had conducted a 15-month investigation after receiving a complaint in Feb. 2016. The victim told police she began a relationship with Christopher White online in 2010 and he had solicited her to invest in the NAFL and a production company associated with it.
Deputies said White claimed to have $400 million in escrow to finance the league and offered the victim the opportunity to be part of the business.
Christopher White created logos for the team and created a website, in which he claimed he played and coached for the league and won a championship, deputies said. He even wore a "championship ring," which deputies said he used to gain trust and get money from investors.
The victim told Bay County officers that by 2014, she had given Christopher White $150,000 and had been convinced to lease equipment in her name. Christopher White told the victim in 2015, the league and production company had folded.
Deputies said that's when Christopher and Tracy White left Florida for Mufreesboro and took all the computer and production equipment, that was funded by the victim, with them.
Bay County detectives said they found other victims in the Florida area and even in the country. Arrest warrants were obtained for the Whites and both were apprehended in Murfreesboro.
In addition to the Florida charges, both Whites are also charged in Rutherford County with fugitive from justice. They're being held without bond at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. A hearing is slated for June 14.