Update: More allegations against Sarah Phillips can be found here.
Con-artist and figment of the imagination. With the recent firing of ESPN gambling columnist Sarah Philips, these two terms have been thrown around a lot. Con-artist and figment of the imagination don't really explain who the former ESPN writer is, though. So, who is the girl putting the Internet in a tizzy?
Freelance sports gambling columnist Sarah Phillips was fired from ESPN on Tuesday after Deadspin.com wrote an article claiming that Phillips and a partner may be involved in fraud and extortion. A man by the name of Nilesh/ Navin Prasad were reportedly involved with the financial scheming.
According to Deadspin's report, Phillips has scammed a 19-year-old referred to as Ben. And a 30-something-year-old referred to as Matt.
In the case of Ben, Phillips reportedly scammed him into handing over his Facebook administrator rights to his successful NBA memes page. Phillips had promised the 19-year-old a position on a sports site she claimed to be working on.
Matt on the other hand was scammed into contributing $2,100 for advertising for her new sports site. Phillips had reportedly threatened to have the Los Angeles Police Department go by Matt's place to collect the money.
Column Biography Details
Sarah Phillips revealed a little about herself in her column biography. What little we know about her (if it's true) is that at the time she was a 20-something-year-old college student, a girlie-girl, a fan of Jersey Shore as well as a rabid Oregon Ducks fan.
Deadspin did discover that Phillips lives with her father, former Apple manager Kenneth Phillips. Phillips lives in Oregon. Phillips and her partner Nilesh Prasad are registered as students at Oregon State. The Sarah Phillips listed in the directory of the school reportedly studies psychology. Prasad reportedly studies general science.
Phillips began her career writing about gambling a year ago when she started writing for Covers.com, a popular gambling site. According to the Bleacherreport.com, just a few months later Phillips became the gambling writer for ESPN's Page 2/ Playbook.
I landed a job with ESPN because they thought I was pretty, quick-witted, and knew my stuff, Phillips had written to a then-friend at the end of August. The friend leaked the email to Deadspin. I was in disbelief when Covers approached me, and that feeling is multiplied by 1 million when ESPN approached me. I never considered ESPN. Ever. I didn't even know how to go about getting to work with them. But, here I am. I'm freaking excited.
Phillips, a west coast college student was hired by ESPN in August 2011.
The identity of Sarah Phillips became an issue right from the start. According to Deadspin.com, Covers posted three columnist photos of their writer. The only problem is that none of the photos seemed to depict the same person.
Covers could not confirm if she was present in any of the photos because they had never met the young writer.
Jon Campbell, Phillip's editor at Covers told Deadspin that they had questioned Phillips over the authenticity of the photos. She said those were pictures of her when she was younger and we flat out asked her, 'Is that you?' said Campbell. Phillips stood by her younger excuse to her editor.
Deadspin was able to compile a list from her Covers column which reveals some traits of a compulsive gambler. The site took a quote from her column in which she wrote that she hasn't watched a full sporting event without having at least a small bet on it in years.
Her column also dove into her fright of losing almost $1,300 in an online betting account.