Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Meet Nilesh Prasad, Sarah Phillips's Scamming Partner And Supposed "Puppetmaster" [UPDATE]

Here, at last, are some photos of former ESPN columnist Sarah Phillips and her partner, Nilesh Prasad, the low-rent Bonnie and Clyde of social-media ripoffs. The reader who sent the one above said it was taken in April 2010 during a trip to Cancun. This was a "top performer vacation reward," our tipster writes, "for a T-Mobile dealer that we all worked for." We know how that turned out.


And here are two more photos, also from spring 2010, sent by another reader. Three other readers confirmed that the man with Phillips is Prasad.

Chris from Eugene, Ore., knows a number of Sarah's and Nilesh's friends. He emails:

Everyone here readily admits that Nilesh is more or less the "puppetmaster" in this situation. According to [a friend], Nilesh "threatened" people in the past who knew of his involvement with Sarah when Sarah was in middle school and Nilesh was in high school. I use "threatened" in quotes, cause [the friend] said he would be surprised if Nilesh ever did anything violent to anyone who spoke out about his relationship with Sarah, but that he'd definitely be pretty angry.


Friends of Sarah Phillips say that back when they knew her in 8th grade and high school, Sarah "couldn't give two fucks about anything sports related." She was an athlete, but as far as following sports, statistics, etc., it wasn't really her thing. According to a girl (we'll call her Kate) who played on sports teams with Sarah and was "good" by not great friends with her at the time, Sarah would have "no chance" referencing sports names, scores, scenarios without the help of someone else. Kate says she doesn't doubt Sarah may have picked up some sports knowledge along the way, but not to the level which she portrayed herself on ESPN and social media


In your article yesterday, it kind of hinted that Sarah/Nilesh was rather proud, if not boastful about their betting acumen. [The friend] says that falls in line directly with the way Nilesh was back in high school when he would play poker frequently. According to [the friend], Nilesh would always say to [him], "'I made all this money off these guys,' or, 'You guys should go play him (in poker).'" For [the friend], the way "Sarah" talked about "her" bets in your piece was eerily familiar to the way Nilesh would describe his gambling conquests.


[Update, 5 p.m.: We've deleted John's story. It might be a hoax, as a different John explains in a blog post, which could itself be a hoax.]

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