Another high-profile athlete has fallen victim to a person working under false identities.
A late-night operation conducted by the Colorado police in 2012 on the residence of Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen was able to seize property from the NBA player, leading to speculation about his involvement in child pornography.
Chris Andersen, whose home is at the center of a child pornography investigation.
As more facts have come to light, though, it seems that Andersen was more a victim than a perpetrator.
The lawyer of the heavily-tattooed NBA champion, Mark Bryant, said that his client was the victim of an elaborate hoax aimed at revenge.
In what is commonly called a "catfish" scheme, another person assumed Anderson's identity to trick someone else into a false romantic relationship. The perpetrator, a woman identified by the Denver Post as Shelly Lynn Chartier of Manitoba, Canada, reportedly posed as the flamboyant cager, seeking gifts and favors, and threatening at least one more person.
A woman in California was apparently one of Chartier's victims. At that time, the woman was seeking retaliation from Andersen in the form of payments for "Amazon wishlist, bedding stuff and her victoria secret (sic) wishlist." Andersen and the Californian only met in person once, and all communication flowed through Chartier, who, unknown to the parties, impersonated both of them. The Canadian had been chatting with Andersen, who sent revealing pictures of herself. She travelled to Colorado seeking a relationship with the athlete, but was turned down. The woman then allegedly set up an elaborate scheme, communicating with the Californian as Andersen, and started to make explicit demands. Police were then alerted and started the investigation into Andersen's activities.
Chartier's scheme was reminiscent of the case of former Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, who also fell victim to a catfish scheme involving a man posing as a woman. Te'o allegedly had a long-distance online relationship with the person, who supposedly passed away prior to the Fighting Irish's big game against Michigan.
With the new revelations about the Andersen case, it is unclear if the energetic forward, who is known by the monicker "Birdman," will start using the nickname "Catfish" on his jersey instead.
To contact the editor, e-mail: