Marvin Austin received funds from suspended agent, warrant says

Agent paid for former player's travels

Former North Carolina football player Marvin Austin received money from suspended agent Gary Wichard through an intermediary, a search warrant released by the Secretary of State of North Carolina’s office stated.

The warrant states that Wichard paid for Austin’s two flights to California to work out with former teammate Kentwan Balmer through Austin’s former high school assistant coach Todd Amis.

Amis provided a canceled check from Wichard’s agency, Pro Tect Management LLC for $1,000.

The warrant states that Austin reached out to Amis to ask him to pay travel agency Altour International Inc. for the flights.

“Austin stated he contacted his former assistant high school coach, Todd Amis (“Amis”) to pay for both of his round trip flights to California,” the warrant read.

Amis gave investigators two invoices from Altour for $906.40 and $1,436.40.

Pro Tect Management also paid $915.40 directly to Altour to cover changes in Austin’s itinerary.

Wichard said to state investigator Sam Cabrera he never gave anything of value to Austin.

Wichard has already served three months of a nine month suspension from the National Football League Players Association, handed down in December for his involvement with Austin.

“I’m not going to have any comment right now, because it is an ongoing investigation,” Christopher Lyons, Austin’s lawyer, said. “I don’t think it would be appropriate to comment.”

Lyons also said he has not had any recent contact with Austin due to the NFL Scouting Combine, where UNC sent a total of 12 players to compete in hopes of getting drafted by professional teams.

“I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with Marvin because he is at the (NFL Scouting) Combine,” Lyons said.

The search warrant is for documents regarding a Bank of America bank account in Raleigh. The bank account number matches the number on the check given to investigators by Amis, which has Wichard’s signature on it.

“Certainly this shows that the case is moving forward,” N.C. Secretary of State’s office spokeswoman Liz Proctor said.

When Austin arrived in California, Balmer paid for the Marriott Residence Inn hotel in which they both stayed.

Amis declined to comment.

Three weeks ago, he also declined to comment on the recruiting process for The Daily Tar Heel article “Recruit process getting intense,” citing the reason “because of what went on down there.”

Contact the Sports Editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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