NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens basketball coach is accused of playing games with other people’s money, leaving them feeling cheated and scammed.
Anthony Diaz, a Long Island youth basketball coach, says an offer from a fellow coach in Queens for custom team apparel seemed like a great deal at the time.
“The cost was total $652, that was for 14 short-sleeved hoodies with the logo, name on the back and that included shipping as well,” Diaz said. “It piqued my interest because of the pricing he was giving for some of this stuff.”
But Diaz says after sending Junior Olivera, or Coach Junior, more than $650, he’s still waiting for his order, promised to arrive on Feb. 7.
“I still can’t believe he did this to me,” he told CBS2’s Valerie Castro.
Diaz says text messages from Coach Junior document the transaction.
Initially Junior writes, “Turnaround time is 10 business days guaranteed or your money back” and asks him to pay with QuickPay. Transactions through QuickPay can’t be reversed or disputed.
After 10 days past the promised delivery date, Diaz asks more questions. Junior writes, “If you don’t have it tomorrow, it’s free.”
Still nothing arrives, and when Diaz asks how he can get his money back, all communication from Coach Junior times out.
“Extreme disappointment that he would even sink to the levels to do something like this,” Diaz said.
The disappointment led to a decision to post a scam alert to his own league’s Instagram account along with Coach Junior’s picture — then similar stories began pouring in.
“Just the reaction on that has been overwhelming in a good way, right? Because I found out that I’m not alone. He’s been doing this for years to multiple people,” Diaz said. “It’s all similar situations where he gets the money and then he just cuts off all access.”
Diaz found out the cost of doing business with Junior hasn’t been cheap.
“So far, from the people I’ve spoken to, it’s at least $13,000 and that’s not even including the $650 of mine, which probably brings that closer to $14,000,” he said.
CBS2 tried reaching Coach Junior numerous times so he could explain what happened, but he never responded. Instead, a man who says he’s Junior’s attorney contacted us by phone and says, “He denies the allegations. He maintains that they’re not truthful and this is nothing more than a dispute.”
“So is there any way to explain why these people haven’t gotten the items that they ordered?” Castro asked.
The attorney’s advice for anyone with a problem? Hire their own attorney.
Diaz has filed a police report with Nassau County while he says more complaints keep pouring in.