A former sports agent and OSU wrestling champion admitted yesterday to a scheme that bilked investors out of $1.8 million. Dunyasha M. Yetts appeared before federal Judge John D. Holschuh and pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to possess marijuana.
Yetts promised to invest money for investors, but instead spent it on himself or paid off investors from previous deals, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Kelley said.
The drug charge stems from nearly 20 pounds of marijuana that was caught being delivered to the World Wide Sports Group, the 261 E. Livingston Ave. sports-agency company run by Yetts. Yetts, 36, currently of Florida, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The former Dublin resident also was ordered to reimburse eight victims, but it is unclear if that is possible.
"He had a lavish lifestyle," Kelley said. "I'm sure a lot of that money went out the door."
Former OSU football player Antoine Winfield was among the victims. Winfield, who now plays for the Minnesota Vikings, lost most of the $1.3 million he invested in dealings with Yetts, Kelley said.
As part of the plea bargain, 10 charges were dropped, though Yetts still could have received up to 20 years in prison for the other three charges he faced.
A motion concerning his sentencing was filed with the court, but sealed. Kelley and Yetts' attorney, Sam Shamansky, wouldn't comment on it.
"Mr. Yetts expressed regret and accepted complete responsibility," Shamansky said.
Patrick Leonard, who owns Coaches Bar & Grill, 1480 Bethel Rd., was one of his victims.
Leonard said his wife was a friend of Yetts' wife, and he eventually agreed to let Yetts invest ,000 of his retirement money. He lost it all.
Of the sentence, Leonard said, "That's a little disappointing."
Joanna Nahay of Hilliard, also one of his victims, said she wished his sentence was five times harsher. Nahay declined to comment further. Court records show that the Nahay Trust in Hilliard lost $262,176 with Yetts.
Yetts represented Ohio State when he was the Big Ten wrestling champion in the 142-pound weight class in 1994. He lost in the semifinal round of the NCAA national wrestling tournament in March 1994.