BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Dozens of schools scammed out of thousands of dollars. Now, parents want answers from an Annapolis company that promised Ravens players would appear at school assemblies.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the missing cash.
Much of this money was raised by students during fundraisers. Now parents say, it’s gone. And they can’t even get the company that took it to return phone calls.
Big name Ravens stars speaking out to kids. That’s what dozens of schools say they were promised.
“It sounded so great because it was about anti-bullying and we could have a Ravens player,” said one parent whose child attends Sykesville Middle School.
Sykesville Middle School’s PTO paid $600 for the program. But it never happened.
“We paid them and then they defaulted and they haven’t given us back our money,” the parent said.
And it’s not just Sykesville Middle School that says it was scammed. Nearly two dozen other schools say they were cheated out of money, too.
Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and schools in Northern Virginia say the Odyssey Group took their money, too, and didn’t deliver.
“They’re a company that has marketed these assemblies before,” Bob Mosier, public information officer for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools said.
In just Anne Arundel County alone, 17 schools are out more than $14,000.
“Our office of legal services is looking into the avenues that are available to us to try to recoup this money,” Mosier said.
WJZ obtained a letter sent by a lawyer for Odyssey saying, in part:
“Odyssey contacted an agent that had access to several Ravens players. Odyssey worked to plan and schedule the bookings, but the project grew too fast and Odyssey very quickly had more bookings than available players. At this point, Odyssey’s relations with the agent fell apart.”
Parents just want the money back.
“I would hate for this to happen to other kids,” the parent said.
WJZ tried to contact the owner of the Odyssey Group, Joseph Gill, but he hasn’t returned our phone calls.
Officials with the Ravens organization say the team has no affiliation with the Odyssey Group and never promised any appearances.