Pair accused of running baseball booster scam

The teams the suspects were allegedly collecting for don't exist

Two would-be college sports boosters were arrested by West Linn police Tuesday after residents realized the baseball teams the men claimed to represent do not exist.

Two other suspects were arrested later, Lake Oswego Police reported.

Police say Jeremiah Steven Conner and Thomas Ray Kintigh canvassed neighborhoods in West Linn and possibly Lake Oswego selling magazine subscriptions and asking for donations to the Portland Community College and University of Oregon baseball teams.

PCC does not have a baseball team. The University of Oregon has a club team but has not had an official NCAA baseball team since 1981.

Conner and Kintigh were arrested in the 19700 block of Bellevue Way in West Linn at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses there told police the two men were selling subscriptions to magazines and asking for donations for the non-existent teams as well. That part of the alleged scheme broke the law, police said.

"The suspects are using the youth sports model for fundraising, only they are adults and their behaviors are criminal" said West Linn Police Department Sgt. Neil Hennelly. "If you are approached at your home by door-to-door solicitors, beware, as not all are legitimate."

Conner and Kintigh are also being investigated by Lake Oswego police. Residents there complained this week about door-to-door solicitors claiming to represent Lakeridge High School.

Conner was charged with theft by deception and lodged at the Clackamas County Jail. Kintigh was cited for not having a business license and released.

According to Lake Oswego Police Capt. Michael Hammons, 19-year-old Tasha Mitchell of Warsaw, Ind., and 18-year-old Amanda Wheatley of Newark,Ohio, were arrested at the Ramada Inn at Portland International Airport on charges of second-degree theft by deception. The charges stem from their sales practices in Lake Oswego where they claimed to be from or represent at various times either the University of Oregon, Lakeridge High School or Dornbecher Children's Hospital in order to make magazine sales or solicit donations.

Both women were part of a group of salespeople representing Quality Sale Inc. of Buford Ga.

The police investigation showed the average sales of group members was about $300 per day, Hammons said. Ms. Mitchell was averaging $1,200 per day. The women were lodged in the Clackamas County Jail.

Hammons said the main group was last seen headed for the Seattle area.