Panthers: Man posing as OG Wharton defrauded people out of $25K

Age: 28

Height: 6-4  * Weight:* 312

College: South Carolina

Experience: 6th season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers say a man impersonating left tackle Travelle Wharton has defrauded a handful of people out of about $25,000.

Panthers director of security Gene Brown said Tuesday that the man has an identification card with Wharton's name and has been able to dupe "about four or five people" into investment scams.

Brown said the first incident was about a year ago, when a woman in Atlanta claimed she lost $5,300 when the unidentified man promised he would promote events surrounding the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament. The incidents have continued in the Charlotte area, and the Panthers say Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating.

Wharton says he "feels violated" and wanted to warn people of the scam.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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