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Oklahoma regulators block former OU football player, say he spent investment money on music career

The Oklahoma Department of Securities has taken action against former walk-on University of Oklahoma football player T.J. Hamilton and his parents, claiming that most of the nearly $1 million he received from investors went to fuel his aspirations of becoming a country music star.
by Brianna Bailey Published: December 24, 2013

“It makes me so sad because I don't think they have all the facts — they have just interviewed the people they have had put in front of them,” Bridger-Riley said of the Department of Securities action.

Several investors have also moved to file lawsuits against Hamilton and his parents over the past year, accusing the Hamiltons of using investors' money to pay for everything from payments to a record producer, hotel rooms and thousands of dollars in cash advances.

The lawsuits claim T.J. Hamilton, as well as his mother, Gena Hamilton and father Timothy Hamilton used investors' money to pay for expensive meals and hotel stays.

A large chunk of investors' money was spent on Hamilton's music career, one lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County in March by a group of Hamilton's investors claims.

Neer, an investor in Vinita, moved to sue T.J. Hamilton and his parents in May, claiming the Hamiltons owed her more than $134,000 on money she had invested in his company. Neer claims in her lawsuit that T.J. Hamilton told her he was in talks with Nike, Under Armor, Sports Authority and the owners of the Sacramento Kings basketball team to manufacture his products but her money was never used for legitimate business purposes.

Neer declined to talk to The Oklahoman about her lawsuit, but her attorney told The Oklahoman she trusted T.J. Hamilton after meeting him at a church in Vinita where his grandfather served as minister. She was also vulnerable after the recent death of her husband, Linscott said.

In press materials promoting his music career, T.J. Hamilton claims he slept in the front lobby of the YMCA in downtown Nashville while recording his first EP, “What You Do To Me.”

Investors claim in one lawsuit that Hamilton used thousands of dollars earmarked to invest in nutritional supplements for several stays at the four-diamond Loews Vanderbilt Nashville Hotel.

The Hamiltons eventually paid Neer back about $6,500 of her money.

“So far, we haven't gotten anything else back,” Linscott said. “I don't think Mrs. Neer would wish anything bad on the Hamilton family, but they ripped her off basically.”

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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