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Terrible Touts 2: The Price is Wrong, Jack Price That Is

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/09/2018
Back in the 1990s, there was a plethora of shows on cable television on Saturday mornings during football season that featured sports handicappers.

These TV tout shows, where handicappers would make predictions on some games and try to sell predictions on others, aired on cable channels such as the USA Network, had names such as "Pro Line" and featured cappers such as Jim Feist, Ron Bash, Wayne Root, Dave Cokin, Stu Feiner and Kevin Duffy.
 
(The "shows" were actually paid infomercials that cost the touts about $100,000 for a half-hour of Saturday morning cable airtime, plus production costs.)
 
The worst of these TV touts was Jack Price, a Los Angeles resident whose real name is Marc Price Meghrouni and who was so sleazy that he was the subject of multiple media exposes, including ones by the Los Angeles Times, the Las Vegas Sporting News, HBO and others.
 
The crooked capper also has had more brushes with the law than a Times Square hooker.
 
And that's why Price/Meghrouni is the subject of the latest installment of Gambling 911's new ongoing series, "Terrible Touts."
 
HBO was the first major national media outlet to give national exposure to Jack Price's crooked antics.
 
In September of 1997, HBO's investigative show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" did a segment on sports handicappers called "Pros and Cons."
 
Several cappers were featured in the piece, including Price.
 
Among those interviewed in the segment was a former employee of the Price tout service that Price shilled on his TV show.
 
Among other things, the former employee told segment host Jim Lampley: "The only truth you get out of him (Price) is where to send the money. Everything he tells you is a lie."
 
The former employee also admitted that game picks that Price's service sells to its clients are often made by "flipping a coin."
 
Three months later, in December of 1997, the Los Angeles Times did its own investigation into tout services, devoting a large chunk of its massive four-part series to local resident Jack Price.
 
The Times reported that Price was being sued by former NFL quarterback John Brodie for breach of contract, fraud and defamation of character.
 
Brodie, the Times reported, had been hired by Price, at an annual salary of $100,000, to make predictions on NFL games on Price's TV show.
 
But, the newspaper said, Brodie's image had been used without Brodie's permission in print advertising for Price's tout service.
 
In addition, Brodie was quoted in the ads saying things he had never said, the paper reported.
 
"It's a set-up and it's no good," Brodie told the newspaper in an interview.
 
The Times also reported that another former NFL star who had been hired by Price was also suing the capper for similar offenses.
 
Deacon Jones had sued Price for breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation and invasion of privacy, the newspaper reported.
 
A third lawsuit against Price alleged sexual misconduct, the Times reported.
 
A former employee of Price named Cynthia Stockwell sued Price, and the Times said the suit "paints a picture of an intimidating workplace with a bachelor-party type atmosphere."
 
According to the Times, Stockwell also alleged in her lawsuit that other Price employees routinely threatened customers over the telephone when they owed Price money, and in one case, a Price employee told a customer's wife: "Your husband owes me money. I'm going to kill you and your kids if you don't pay us."
 
In addition to Price's lawsuit history, the Times also exposed how Price's tout service used bait-and-switch tactics to scam its customers.
 
Multiple Times reporters, posing as gamblers, signed up for Price's handicapping service and paid the requested initial fee of $200 for handicapping selections on pro and college football games.
 
But when the reporters called Price's service to get the picks, they were told the $200 they had paid would only get them the service's regular picks--if they wanted the service's top plays, they'd have to pay another $2,000, which they declined to do.
 
Of the picks they did receive, most lost, the paper reported.
 
On another note, the Times reported that the suburban Los Angeles offices housing Price's tout service in Orange, Calif., had been recently raided by the local police department's vice squad, after a tip by an informant that the offices doubled as a bookie joint and sports bets were being taken on the premises.
 
No evidence of bookmaking was found and no arrests were made, but the raid portended future trouble for Price.
 
Because as it turned out, Price, in addition to being a tout, was also an illegal bookmaker.
 
In 2000, the Associated Press reported that Price had been arrested by Federal authorities for owning and operating Paradise Casino, an illegal offshore sportsbook based in Curacao, a tiny island nation off the northern coast of Venezuela, and charged with various tax and gambling offenses.
 
Price ended up pleading guilty to impairing the work of the Internal Revenue Service, violating the Wire Wager Act and money laundering, the AP reported.
 
In addition, Price had to pay $11.4 million in back taxes, interest and penalties, and had to forfeit a $1 million condominium, a $2 million office building and a $250,000 Lamborghini sports car, the AP said.
 
You might have thought that Price would have learned his lesson by now and pledged to keep his nose clean and stay out of trouble, but you would have been wrong.
 
In 2004, the AP reported that Price was ordered to pay the State of Missouri $15,000 for violating the state's no-call law.
 
According to the AP, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said his office received more than 60 complaints about Price's tout service.
 
Besides the $15,000 fine, Price agreed to not make any more telemarketing calls to Missourians on the no-call list and also to abide by the other provisions in the law, the AP said.
 
By Tom Somach
Gambling 911 Staff Writer
 
PAST TERRIBLE TOUTS INSTALLMENTS
 

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