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George Mason ball player faces fraud and larceny charges

A pivotal member of the George Mason University's basketball team has been arrested and charged with credit card larceny and fraud. The criminal charges against the Patriots' senior guard forced his suspension from the school's team less than a month before regular team practice sessions are set to begin.

The senior reportedly told Fairfax County authorities that he found a credit card on school grounds during the summer. The university basketball player then allegedly purchased about $60 in gas and food with the card before discarding it.

The first-year coach of the George Mason Patriots called the college ball player's action an "error in judgment." The coach expressed his disappointment to the media saying the starting player realized the mistakes he had made.

The Charlotte native was a starting player in all of the Patriots' games in the last season. In the last two seasons, he started in more than 60 games. Statistics from last season show the 5-foot-10 senior guard led his team in free throws and three-pointers. He was ranked fourth among the Patriots best scorers, with an average of 9.5 points per game.

The player's suspension from the team will last as long as the Fairfax County legal process. The school will impose its own disciplinary actions, depending on the results in court. For now, the senior is off the basketball team, but he is permitted to attend class.

According to reports, the player has posted several thoughts on a Twitter account since his arrest. The tweets imply that the university student is taking a hard look at his behaviors and relationships in his life.

At last report, the Patriots player was released on $1,500 bond and was awaiting arraignment.

As this student's case shows, theft can come with serious consequences that extend beyond legal penalties. Those who have been charged with a crime may find it helpful to seek legal advice from an experienced Fairfax defense attorney.

Source: The Washington Post, "George Mason basketball suspends senior Andre Cornelius," Steven Goff, Sept. 20, 2011

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