A relative of New Orleans-born pro football star Tyrann Mathieu threatened to go public with sexual misconduct allegations against the athlete unless he coughed up millions in hush money, according to law enforcement officials.
But rather than receiving a hefty payday, Geourvon Keinell Sears was jailed after he was turned over to the FBI by the former LSU star nicknamed "the Honey Badger," according to court documents filed this month. Sears faces a count of extortion.
The documents allege that Sears, a 21-year-old New Orleans man, called Mathieu last month and demanded $1.5 million by April 26. Mathieu blocked Sears’ number, but Sears then allegedly sent messages to close associates of Mathieu demanding $5 million.
One text, written in all capital letters, read “5 MILLION BY FRIDAY IM DONE TALKING EMAILING TMZ NOW,” said a four-page criminal complaint signed FBI task force officer Chad Cockerham.
Sears is also accused of sending a voice memo telling its recipients, “I want 1.5 million by Friday or I am going to kill you all.”
That voice memo referenced “Era Nation,” which the complaint describes as a youth mentoring group. Media reports show Era Nation is also a crew of athletes and musicians Mathieu belonged to when he was younger.
According to the complaint, Sears also contacted Mathieu’s sports agent and warned he would go to media outlets and smear Mathieu’s name “by alleging sexual misconduct” by the NFL safety, who currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Les Miles fit right in wearing purple and gold.
The complaint doesn’t say what that alleged misconduct was.
Cockerham arrested Sears on May 1. He later posted a $25,000 bond for his release from jail.
Sears stands accused in federal court because he used his cellphone during the alleged extortion plot and because he, Mathieu and the agent were in different states at the time.
Mathieu is not named in the report, which describes the victim of the extortion attempt as a professional athlete whose initials are “T.M.” and who resides in Kansas City. But a source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed that those initials refer to Mathieu.
WDSU-TV first reported on the case against Sears on Tuesday, hours after TMZ’s website published a story about how the 27-year-old Mathieu had just proposed to his longtime girlfriend with a $250,000 diamond ring.
Mathieu is a New Orleans native who attended St. Augustine High School before starring as a safety for the LSU football team. He was a finalist for the Heisman trophy after his sophomore season in 2011, but was dismissed from the team that offseason due to a violation of team rules.
Mathieu reenrolled at LSU, but he and three other former players were arrested for marijuana possession in October 2012, ending his comeback attempt.
He eventually entered a drug rehabilitation program in Texas before entering his name into the 2013 NFL draft; he was selected in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals.
He played his first five NFL seasons in Arizona, signed with the Houston Texans for the 2018 season and has since joined the Chiefs.
Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is headed to the Kansas City Chiefs on a three-year deal, according to a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Mathieu continues to be a fan favorite in Louisiana and New Orleans. He returned to the New Orleans area this past weekend to hold his second annual Kickball Classic in Metairie. The next day he held his annual Heart of a Badger youth football skills camp at the Saints practice facility.
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Tyrann Mathieu hosts his Honey Badger youth football clinic at the Saints Practice Facility, Sunday, May 19, 2019, in New Orleans, La.