A former NFL player has been accused of faking a hate crime in an effort to profit from an insurance payout, but his stupidity in failing to cover his tracks has won him comparisons to Jussie Smollett, the 'Empire' actor who infamously fabricated a hate crime in which he was allegedly attacked by two white men in MAGA hats.
This time around, Edawn Coughman, who played in both the NFL and Canadian football leagues, was arrested and charged earlier this week with insurance fraud and filing a phony police report.
The incident began when somebody called the police about a suspected burglary at his ice-cream parlor, Coughman’s Creamery, in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The caller gave police a description of a truck purportedly belonging to the suspect. Police soon found it driving down the road, but as it turned out, the truck belonged to Coughman, and he was behind the wheel, according to the Western Journal.
Coughman told police that he was the owner of the creamery, and that he had filed an insurance claim after vandals supposedly attacked his business, but he had only just gotten around to calling the police. Officers investigating the restaurant found "MAGA" a backward swastika and slurs spray-painted on the walls.
The paint was found to still be wet. The back door had been pried open, and officers noted yellow tool marks.
But police soon found televisions with drywall still attached in the bed of Coughman's truck (they were among the items purportedly stolen from his business).
This was enough for them to obtain a search warrant. After serving it, they discovered spray-paint cans in Coughman’s car, along with a crowbar with a paint job that matched the marks on the Creamery's back door.
That's a veritable mountain of evidence.
Coughman's motive is clear: He was apparently trying to scam his way into an insurance windfall after his ice cream business started to fail. Reviews online show customers were clearly unimpressed with his product.
Here's one example:
"Coughman’s Creamery is not a good ice cream shop," one review says. "Their ice cream is clearly bought from somewhere else and is nothing special. They don’t actually have most of the treats they post on Instagram. When we were there, all they had was a stale 'cookie bowl.' Since we had made the trek, we tried it and it was terrible."