Jeweler settles suit vs. Lance Thomas

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 18, 2012
Former Duke basketball player Lance Thomas has settled a lawsuit that accused him of failing to pay nearly $68,000 for jewelry purchased while he was part of the Blue Devils team that won the 2010 national championship. Mike Bowers, the attorney for Rafaello & Co., said his client had agreed to settle the lawsuit against Thomas stemming from the nearly $100,000 in diamond jewelry the player purchased in the middle of the 2009-2010 season. The Dallas attorney said the terms are confidential, and he reiterated his client's unwillingness to discuss the matter with the NCAA, which is seeking details of the transaction. ''This is a private matter between my client and Mr. Thomas, and that's where it stands,'' Bowers said Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed in January in Austin, Texas, said Thomas owed $67,800 for five pieces of jewelry he purchased at a cost of $97,800. The invoice, dated Dec. 21, 2009, indicates that Thomas made a $30,000 down payment and agreed to pay the balance in 15 days. Thomas started 39 games at forward for Duke in 2009-2010, his senior season, including the 61-59 victory over Butler in the NCAA championship game. The lawsuit, which wasn't disclosed publicly until The Associated Press reported it earlier this month, has raised questions about Thomas' eligibility that season and whether Duke's national title could be affected. NCAA rules prohibit athletes from receiving benefits that aren't available to the student body as a whole. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Tuesday the organization would not comment on the settlement and what it might mean in terms of investigating the matter. NCAA rules require student-athletes and personnel at member schools to cooperate with the organization's inquiries, but there's nothing to compel people who aren't affiliated with those schools to do so. Thomas, now with the New Orleans Hornets, was playing last season for the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League when the suit was filed. He wasn't drafted by an NBA team when he left Duke. Joe Crews, the Austin attorney handling the matter for Thomas, did not immediately return a phone message from the AP seeking comment. Rafaello & Co., which also does business as A+A Diamonds Ltd., promotes itself as a jeweler that caters to professional athletes and other celebrities. On its website, the jeweler says its customers include actor Jamie Foxx, singer Alicia Keys and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. The firm filed a similar lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last year, asserting that he owed $240,000 for jewelry he purchased between January and May 2010. The purchases occurred after Bryant had left Oklahoma State and was waiting for the NFL draft. That suit also was settled out of court.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker