Man accused of scamming Southern Heritage Classic is suing for $8M

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The man accused of trying to scam the Southern Heritage Classic out of thousands of dollars worth of tickets is now taking two big names to court.

Jason Smith is suing the founder of the Southern Heritage Classic, Fred Jones, for $2.5 million and Shelby County Schools for $5.5 million--claiming slander and defamation of character, among other things.

Jones claims Smith bought 100 tickets to the game with a check that bounced. Many of those tickets were handed out to students and faculty at Sherwood Middle School, where Smith claims he worked and coached.

The suit says that as of Sept. 5, the check was never returned.

However documents show the $2,300 check for the 100 tickets was returned to the Southern Heritage Classic's management company because the account used to write the check didn't exist.

WMC Action News 5 also dug into Smith's past and found he has faced similar charges before--including a 2009 conviction on three separate theft charges in Kentucky. He's still on probation for those offenses.

Shelby County Schools had no comment on these accusations and has not confirmed Smith's employment or volunteer status with the district.

Smith's lawyer Beth Brooks has not responded to requests for comment.

Jones declined to comment.

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