Now you and I know this story simply cannot be true. A Jewish gang called the Jerusalem Group banging heads and committing murders within the borders of the United States. Italians running organized crime in Youngstown, Ohio? This sort of thing simply doesn’t happen. It’s funny – because the national media jumped all over the story – and only ESPN had reporters hitting on this angle from the very beginning. ESPN is not perfect. Heck, they could be part of an ongoing anti-semitic ploy resulting from their relationship with Walt Disney. It’s probably just a hoax.
How you gonna ‘splain this Lucy?
Waknine’s current relationship with Clarett is not clear, although two hours before Clarett’s arrest, the running back called an ESPN reporter and mentioned, in passing, that he and Waknine were still friends. However, ESPN has learned that the FBI contacted Clarett about his relationship with Waknine before the 2005 draft, and it is unknown whether Clarett cooperated.
Waknine went on trial on June 5, and he pleaded guilty a week later to a single racketeering charge, admitting that he threatened violence to extort money from several individuals. Waknine, who was unavailable for comment Thursday, is expected to receive a nine-year prison term at his sentencing Sept. 11. His attorney, Kenner — the former lawyer for Death Row Records and its founder, Marion “Suge” Knight — did not return phone messages.
It’s no secret, however, that Waknine provided Clarett with a life of luxury from August 2004 to August 2005.
“When I worked with Maurice, he had Hai and a very high-profile lawyer,” said Charles Poliquin, who trained Clarett in November and December 2004 in Phoenix. “There are not a lot of guys that want to play pro football who have a team of lawyers and money men backing them up, and, for sure, they had his best interests at heart. But he was living too nice a life. Too nice. He was living in Malibu. Right on the beach. I’ve been to the house. [Waknine] owned like 10 cars and said, ‘Pick whatever car you want.'”