MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Officials for the Southern Heritage Classic said a man tried to scheme his way into illegally getting thousands of tickets to the game.
Fred Jones, founder of the Southern Heritage Classic, believed almost immediately something was wrong when Jason Smith walked into his office on Aug. 28 and asked for 100 tickets.
"We didn't feel very comfortable with it," Jones said.
Despite his hesitation, Jones took Smith's $2,300 check and gave him the tickets.
Jones said Smith told him he was buying them for students and teachers at Sherwood Middle School, and Jones said Smith even created a fake website claiming he worked at the school
"The next day after he was here, he sent us a note back saying he wanted to buy 2,300 tickets. For me, that was a red flag," Jones said.
Jones claims the check for the first 100 tickets bounced, and that the principal of Sherwood Middle gave him back 61 of the tickets in return. The other tickets have been voided, and Jones never gave Smith the other 2,300 tickets.
"We've had situations in the past where there have been counterfeit tickets," Jones said. "We've had to deal with that, but I don't think anything of this magnitude."
In response, Smith texted WMC Action News 5's Brix Fowler this:
Smith claims he is suing both Jones and Shelby County Schools, but WMC Action News 5 has not yet been able to find the lawsuit.
Smith later texted, saying we could call his attorney at Brooks Law Firm. When called, we were told she had left for the day, and we have not heard back yet.
We also reached back out to Jones and Shelby County Schools for comment on these alleged lawsuits, and we are waiting to hear back.